San Jose Veterans Affairs Clinic Brings Healing Oasis to Patients

By Roxanne Squires

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Interdisciplinary architecture and design firm Hoefer Wysocki Architecture, of Leawood, Kan., completed construction of a 95,000-square-foot, three-story facility for the Veterans Affairs (VA) outpatient clinic in San Jose this January.

The $40 million facility will now provide much-needed services for veterans and their families, with a new ultra-modern, sustainable design created to offer what is being dubbed as a “healing oasis” for patients at the San Jose clinic. The design was originally inspired by the scenic views of the Santa Cruz mountains, with exterior wood veneer composite panels and transparent glazing aimed to connect patients and their families closer to the outdoors as well as offer better community access.

Veterans Affairs Clinic Process Started in 2016

The first floor includes general registration, imaging, a lab and a pharmacy as well as a mental health outpatient clinic, according to a statement. The second floor will be designed for outpatient services including primary care, audiology and speech pathology, podiatry, optometry and dermatology. It is rumored that audiology, podiatry, and optometry tools will arrive in time once the floors are ready, and the third floor will be dedicated to additional specialty services including a women’s health clinic.

With the project beginning in early 2016, Hoefer Wysocki worked on an accelerated schedule, having approximately 24 months to complete construction, implementing lessons learned from previous VA facilities. With the site located adjacent to the US 101 freeway, they faced challenges in trying to position the building to achieve maximum daylight and minimum noise pollution. Using a PACT module, the design team worked toward ensuring better sight of the clinic from the adjacent freeway, securing mountain views and maintaining an optimal orientation for passive solar design to meet LEED requirements while also maximizing overall functionality within the specified budget, according to a statement.

A modular floor plan separates patient and staff corridors, reducing noise and activity levels, and contributes to a calmer healing environment. Waiting areas adjacent to exterior glass walls provide a view of the area’s mountains and plentiful daylight. An outdoor terrace on the third level also offers a haven for retreat and relaxation for patients and their families as well as clinic staff.

“This facility is being designed as a ‘healing oasis’ with a park and outdoor recreational areas,” said Hoefer Wysocki Lead Designer Hosam Habib, AIA, in a statement. “The concept is based on incorporating air, light and space so the design becomes a part of the healing process for patients.”

The San Jose community-based clinic will implement new technological tools to help maintain its modern design, with a highly efficient mechanical system to meet building requirements, second-generation glazing for solar energy, a dimming lighting system, low-irrigation plans to reduce water consumption, a solar water heater, a kiosk check-in and Wi-Fi technology for patients and staff. These features will help the clinic work toward earning its LEED Silver certification.

In addition, the campus will feature a memorial park for visitors to properly honor and thank U.S. veterans. The clinic is scheduled for occupancy in the first quarter of this year.