| Architecture Studies Library
Entry number: B09054
Project Name: Cares/Sart Facility
Building Type: Exam/Office
Completion Date: July 2008
Building Location: Sparks, NV
Type of Construction: Type V
Materials Used: Wood/Glass/CMU
Building Area: 2,900 sf
Architecture Firm: Sheehan Van Woert Bigotti
Architect of Record: Angela Bigotti-Chavez
Client/Owner/Developer: Washoe County, NV
Interior Designer(s): Sheehan, Van Noert, Bigotti
Landscape Architect: Lumos & Associates, Inc
Structural Engineer: Ferrari Shields
Mechanical Engineer: Ainsworth Associates
Electrical Engineer: PK Electrical
Civil Engineer: Stantec Consulting
General Contractor: Building Solutions
Photographer: SVWB Architects
Statement of Design Approach:
The design addresses the owner’s intent to create a building that not only accommodates the pragmatics of function and operational flow, but also provides a place that is welcoming, unintimidating, and non-clinical for abuse victims, while remaining conscious of its limited budget, a constrained site shape and size, and the need to fit into the medical and residential context.
The site is located in Sparks, Nevada directly adjacent to the Northern Nevada Medical Center with residential properties to the north and east. This site is at the base of the foothills. It was important to Washoe County (Owner) that the design respond to the scale of the neighborhood context yet offer a contemporary compliment to the adjacent clinical aesthetic of the medical center buildings.
Provide a 2,900 square foot building with an extremely tight budget and create a sensitive and secure space that is comforting to the victims of sexual assault or child abuse.
The owner requested a simple, efficient, budget conscious building that responds to the victims’ needs for a secure and non-threatening space. These victims are directed here from the local police departments and are required to wait outside until a nurse arrives to conduct the exam procedures 24/7. Visual security relative to the assailant and neighboring structures is imperative. The building is positioned to take advantage of an easterly entrance protected from the westerly winds and a screen wall is incorporated to shield the victim from street view. The outdoor waiting area is adjacent to the front door and utilizes perforated metal and frosted glass for visual protection while the victim waits. The concrete block walls address the need for security at both the main entrance for visual purposes and at the police access to evidence rooms for physical purposes.
The architecture maintains a simple statement warmed with color and natural light to welcome the patients into a cheerful bright environment. Blending a sloped entry roof with the simple flat roof provides a familiar aesthetic that works with the residential and medical context. Patients of this facility are experiencing extreme psychological stress therefore the design highlights views to the landscape and spaces that are of non-clinical character where one can feel safe, cared for and protected. The building remains non-descript in purpose with signage located on the entry walk side of the structure’s concrete block entry wall, keeping knowledge of the facility’s location limited to those who require access. This wall also helps victims feel shielded from exposure to the adjacent residents.
Sustainable design elements were incorporated into the overall concept of the CARES|SART facility, while respectfully considering the bugetary constraints of grant funding. The project maintained a committment to simple and affordable building methods through careful material selection, repetetive structural assemblies, and conscious choices to efficiently utilize the funding invested in this facility. Passive shading strategies, such as deep overhangs and window recesses, are employed on the south facade of the building to reduce solar heat gain in the summer, while allowing its benefits during the winter months. Additionally, low emission and frosted panels of glass are incorporated throughout the structure to both reflect heat and retain it per seasonal needs, as well as diffuse the light within the spaces. North facing walls minimize windows and contain maximized construction assemblies with higher insulation values to address the cold weather climate in Northern Nevada. Occupancy sensors for lighting reduce the electrical demand while high efficiency HVAC systems are set at a base temperature with the ability to remotely connect to the buildings system to heat or cool the space prior to the nursing staff arriving on site. When the victim and the nurse vacate the building the HVAC system is automatically returned to the base temperature by setting the alarm system. The landscaping on site corresponds to our high desert climate: the various native plants are hearty and require less water to survive and flourish. Finally, the entry landscaping strip benefits from the perforated channel beam, directly above it, at the low side of the shed roof: this detail allows the collection of rain water, which is then directed to irrigate the planter below. The remainder of the site that was disturbed was sprayed with a hydroseed to return this portion of the site back to its native form.
Material in ASL Library: Form Core Boards, Project Description Form, Exteriors Photos, Location Map, Site Plan, Floor Plan, and Interior Photos
These images are low-resolution reproductions of the images provided for the AIA Nevada Design Awards. All materials should be considered copyrighted and may not be reproduced or used without permission.