Sneak Peek: A Net-Zero Health Center for Underserved Communities

The Barrio Logan Integrative Medicine Clinic will take a proactive approach to nutrition, fitness and research.

Fifty years into its mission of caring for underserved populations, Family Health Centers of San Diego is expanding into preventive health with a facility unlike any of the 77 other care sites in its network. The new Barrio Logan Integrative Medicine Clinic in the south San Diego neighborhood of Barrio Logan will take aim at the causes of illness with a design focused on nutrition, fitness and research.

The design dismantles the often-intimidating experience of visiting the doctor with warm, community-forward architecture. Healthy eating and fitness are on display, with street frontage devoted to the nutrition kitchen and a running track on the roof. Daylight, natural ventilation, views and a pocket park provide biophilic connections for patients, while contributing to a net-zero design.

Located on a long site, the four-story building uses its siting, massing and materiality to break down the perceived scale and fit into the residential neighborhood. Baguettes of the terra-cotta rain screen vary the texture and add depth and dynamism to the façade. The parking structure, roughly half the program area, is discreetly positioned in the rear of the building to enable walkability and street activation on the front.

The integrated team leaned on the structural system to address multiple sustainability goals. The concrete structure minimizes floor-to-floor heights to reduce embodied carbon. Overhangs and sunshades control solar exposure, reducing heat gain and the building’s dependence on mechanical systems.