Memorial Urgent Care Center in Lake Charles, LA is a satellite facility for the well-established Lake Charles Memorial regional hospital developed to accommodate the increased demand for services—including a near-doubling of outpatient visits—over the past decade. In 2015, the hospital began a program of renovation and expansion of its existing facilities, and began construction of the new building located 2.3 miles from the main hospital. The new 37,000 sq. ft. facility is part medical office building and part urgent care center, with urgent care on the ground floor and doctor’s offices for regular appointments on the second floor.
The new facility needed to instill the hospital’s patients with confidence that the treatment they would receive at the new urgent care center would be as good as they receive at the hospital itself, and that their experiences would be consistent and coordinated. The concept of continuity of care was an important motivation in the development of the design provided by architect Michael Pomarico, president of Pomarico Design Studio of New York, NY—a firm that specializes in healthcare facilities.
To create the sense of connection and continuity with the main hospital, Pomarico focused on a signature architectural element of the original building: its 10-story triangular tower. The tower has been the recognizable identity of the hospital for years as it is the featured graphic symbol on the facility’s printed communications. Pomarico designed a dramatic sloped roof to reference the triangular tower and selected a brick veneer to pay homage to the core colors of the original hospital.
Beyond the link to the mother facility, Pomarico also sought to make the concept of continuity visual so that the building suggests—to use his phrase— “wrap around care.” He achieved this with a continuous wall and roof made of gray MBCI BattenLok® HS panels. Although BattenLok® HS panels are generally used as a high strength structural standing seam roof system, they were installed on the wall with vertically-oriented seams running up the highest wall of the building, then turning and continuing over the roof. To make the smooth turn, the panels were specially formed in the field by the contractor, Lewing Construction, using a bending brake. This process enabled them to achieve a smooth and graceful transition from wall to soffitt to roof. As a result, the gray panel surface stands out well against the brick veneer, while the single, continuous surface of metal emphasizes the triangular shape that recalls the original hospital’s tower.
In Lake Charles’ commercial corridor where the Memorial Urgent Care Center is located, local ordinances forbid the use of metal siding due to aesthetic concerns. The project was able to skirt this restriction since the panels are part of the roof, allowing the hospital to create a very modern-looking building that stands out in the rather traditional architectural landscape of the city.
The longevity and durability of BattenLok® HS was also an important factor the owner considered when selecting building materials. The humid environment and severe weather in Louisiana can be a challenge to some exterior materials, but—as architect Pomarico notes—metal roofs have a strong track record for a long service life in environments like Lake Charles.
MBCI Products: BattenLok® HS
Location: Lake Charles, LA
Coverage: 37,000 sq. ft.
Architect: Pomarico Design Studio, New York, NY
General Contractor: Lewing Construction, Lake Charles, LA