Marin County is an enclave of the rich and famous, but the new Marin Health Wellness Campus focuses on providing health and family services for low-income residents. Bright colors, landscaping, and abundant daylight welcome visitors to a complex where consolidated city and community services are available with extended hours that accommodate work schedules.
The campus' relationship with the surrounding streetscape has changed dramatically since RMW's overhaul. The original tilt-up, peaked-roof structures ...
... have been reclad in patinated copper and the roofs flattened, creating a much more dynamic street presence.
The main reception space serves as a bridge between the campus and San Rafael, the seat of Marin County. Entrances are set into glass walls on either end of the space. Clerestory windows and porthole skylights-in a ceiling clad with Ceilings Plus metal perforated tiles in a wood finish-introduce even more daylight.
The tenants relocated from largely closed-plan environments to a much more open-plan space. Standardsized cubicles were used in offices in all five buildings to ensure that as departments grow and shrink over time, the furnishings can be reused.
While Lucas' company is known for creating drama on screen, its offices didn-t exactly live up to this standard. The three original structures were featureless, tilt-up concrete warehouse buildings sitting in the middle of a sea of parking lot. Inside, the greatest highlights were the artistic scrawlings on the walls. 'It was an archaeological dig,' says RMW director of architectural design Stephan Ciulla. 'We found remains from before Star Wars. Years of posters and storyboards and characters. It looked like a fraternity house: There were posters on the wall and a lot of graffiti that the CG guys had left behind-glitter pen sketches on concrete walls.-
The plazas and gardens create a community gathering space that has uses far beyond the realm of healthcare. Farmers markets, movie showings, and public art displays invite area residents to interact with the campus even when they aren-t there for an appointment.
The main reception lobby is differentiated by a raised and canted roofline clad in the same patinated copper that appears elsewhere on the campus. Greenscreen trellis panels are attached to the courtyard walls so that-in time-the walls will be vegetated, furthering the idea of a community green space. Circulation from main reception to the public health clinic is delineated by a curving covered walkway-one of several on site-lined with brightly painted columns encased in perforated metal jackets.