UC Davis, Health and Wellness Center
Today’s universities are expected to provide nurturing environments that cultivate the “whole student,” fostering not only critical thinking and workforce competitiveness, but also holistic wellbeing. The new Student Health and Wellness Center at UC Davis plays a crucial role in addressing this expectation and better supporting the student body, with primary care services, women’s health, specialty clinics, counseling services, and health promotion and education. Meditation rooms, a wellness garden bounded by a walking track, and a demonstration kitchen encourage student engagement. Located on one of the campus’ primary vehicular, bike, and pedestrian pathways, the new facility is highly visible and accessible. It is directly adjacent to the new Activities and Recreation Center, linking these two student services and making healthy living integral to the college experience. A continuity of materials connects indoors and outdoors. Finely polished concrete masonry units and transparent curtain walls reveal the building’s vibrant, active interiors and encourage use of the facility.
The building is oriented on an east/west axis to maximize northern and southern exposure. The southern perimeter of the building accommodates private offices with operable windows and sunshades, allowing occupants to individually control their environment. A green roof over the lobby provides a highly visible reminder of sustainability. The Wellness Garden comprises low water use, native, edible and medicinal plants. Within it, a stormwater retention basin collects the site’s storm runoff for recharge of the aquifer. The facility is designed to accommodate future services through modular expansion for programs such as employee health, sports medicine, and other specialty services. The modular approach is also reflected in clinic “pods,” which mirror each other, providing maximum flexibility to accommodate change over time. Doctors’ offices and exam rooms are arranged around nurse stations, allowing nurses to perform their duties without walking across the facility, increasing both efficiency and connectivity.