Dennis Avenue Health Center

Silver Spring, MD Completed 2016
Project Highlights
  • 63,000 sf
  • New Construction
  • Partnered with Wilmot Sanz
  • LEED Gold Certification
  • Phased construction on an occupied site
  • Only public Tuberculosis clinic in the County

Health for all.

The new Dennis Avenue Health Center serves a diverse population and houses numerous vital and highly sensitive health programs. With demand steadily increasing for the health center’s services, including the only public Tuberculosis clinic in the County, the existing facility—which was originally designed as an elementary school—was undersized and inadequate. The facility is the first newly constructed health center in the County in over 30 years. Vital to the success of the project was the health center’s continuous delivery of care and services while the modern, state-of-the-art building was constructed.

Conveying respect and a sense of welcome was key to the design. Light fixtures, careful material selections, and the extensive use of glass in the entry give dignity to the public spaces.

Many patients are non-native English speakers, and wayfinding was given particular consideration. The building’s signage and organization maintain privacy, with health suites labeled with numbers rather than with the diseases that are treated in them.

Each suite has its own registration areas, waiting rooms, and support spaces. Suites are designed for a specific clinic and supporting treatment methodology. The clinics include Immunization, Refugee, Disease Control, STD Services, Communicable Disease and Epidemiology, HIV Care, and Tuberculosis Control.

The health center also houses the County’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Center, which serves as central command for the County during a public health crisis. These facilities have a high levels of integrated technology that can be reconfigured quickly and easily.