Flooded with natural light, bright and playful pops of colours and thoughtful touches, the Tia healthcare clinic is far from a conventionally staid medical space. But it is an accurate reflection of the type of care Tia aims to provide – personalized, inclusive and all-encompassing, the programming approaches women-centric healthcare and wellness as a convenient and integrated experience focused on prevention.
To transform the previously unoccupied space on the second floor of a building overlooking the Silver Lake neighbourhood of Los Angeles, the Tia team called on New York-based Alda Ly Architecture (ALA), an all-women studio that has developed a reputation for creating human-first and innovative healthcare and other commercial designs. (This location marks the first in a series that the two groups will be collaborating on, including a headquarters in San Francisco and a clinic in Phoenix.)
“The Tia brand is bright and fun, joyful and open,” says founder and principal Alda Ly of the identity that influenced the lighthearted interiors. Positioned to be an accessible community hub, the design needed to be “inviting, easy to navigate and uplifting” and so a palette of warm colours and soft, tactile (and hygienic) materials was devised. Entering through an archway, guests are first greeted by an inviting reception area defined by a rounded wood grain-laminate clad desk, the shape of which helps lead the eye further into the space and creates a transition zone between the front and back wings. Multiple skylights let sunlight stream in and a colourful custom mural by a local artist adorns the back wall; similar graphics can be found on educational placards that are placed throughout that provide healthcare facts, furthering Tia’s commitment to be an open and accessible health and wellness provider. Resilient bio-polyurethane flooring offers the look of natural wood while minimizing bacteria growth.
Continuing into the heart of the clinic, an arched hallway leads past a fully stocked hospitality centre (tucked under its own arch, painted vermillion and backed by bronzed mirror) to an inviting waiting lounge, where a bright red upholstered banquette and eye-catching yellow armchairs make a comfortable spot to decompress.
The lounge also accesses a plant-filled balcony outside with views to the surrounding Hollywood Hills. “A common focus of the design was about creating warm and open spaces to gather – not like a typical doctor’s office – and a strong indoor/outdoor connection was important to this,” says ALA director of architecture Marissa Feddema.
Private appointments and exams are conducted in one of four themed and colour-coded rooms – Aloe (green), Vitamin D (yellow), Turmeric (orangey-red) and Blue – each of which includes explanations for how the particular theme supports client health. It’s a nontraditional strategy that makes personal experiences unique, informative and uplifting. Dark-toned drop ceilings and organized layouts (sink, cabinets and storage on one side for the practitioner and a dressing room with robe, storage for personal items and a comfortable chair for the patient on the other) work together to create a peaceful environment for consultation.
Emphasis was also directed towards providing the practitioners and staff with their own areas to rest, relax and socialize. To that end, the designers worked closely with the providers to understand their needs and crafted a variety of spaces including a classroom for continuting education, a breakroom with blue millwork and coral accents that opens to a staff-designated balcony and a one-of-a-kind lab with ample windows that fill it with natural light, a rarity for this kind of space.
Overall, the effect is a welcome departure from what many often conjure when thinking of healthcare spaces. “The colours, textures, organic shapes all play into calming people down,” says Ly. “Healthcare doesn’t need to be so serious and sterile anymore.”
Alda Ly Architecture combines a warm palette with considerate details to create an inviting community-focused clinic.