Innovative Office Space Inspires Inclusion and Illumination
Published: 12-08-2021 | 5 MIN READ | Author: Prism Health North Texas
Prism Health North Texas Moves into New Administrative Offices on Junius Street.
Prism Health North Texas (PHNTX) is proud to introduce their new administrative and executive office headquarters and patient services center at 3900 Junius Street on the Baylor Medical Center Campus (BUMC). Located on the third floor of the building, the Fitwell-certified innovative office space will be the home to PHNTX’s administrative and executive offices. Located across the street will be the organization’s Worth Street Health Center, PHNTX’s new patient services center. Both the office space and patient services center were designed by DLR Group.
The office space is designed to reflect the culture and mission of PHNTX, incorporating an organic sense of tranquility, inclusivity, and comfort to those who visit and work in the offices. A warm and fresh color palette is implemented throughout the interior with accents of the rainbow and light reflecting the organization’s brand. Art and placemaking installations produce inviting and engaging spaces for gathering and interacting with the community.
Reinforcing the organization’s commitment to inclusion and transparency, the design of the office space supports the contemporary employee through choice-based work including private and semi-private meeting booths, technology and multi-function collaboration zones, a wellness enclave, private phone nooks, all-glass offices, and active open workstation areas. The variety of meeting spaces are designed to welcome patients, offering an encouraging, safe, and spacious environment in which they can access quality healthcare and support.
Designed with immersion into the organization’s mission in mind, the space features large works of art and experiential graphic design, prism, light, and color being a key design element. Prisms bend and transform light to create color and illumination from darkness and can be found throughout the space, including in the triangular tiles of the training room at the facility.
“The spaces where we work should not only support the staff and the company’s mission, but they can and they should inspire and elevate the office experience,” Art Bloodworth, Senior Design Leader of DLR Group said. “We discussed the opportunity for artful installations early in the design process to further enhance the new PHNTX workspaces. While designing the function, look, and feel of their new offices, we worked together to curate a new art program that includes experiential graphics and thoughtful installations by DLR Group’s creative team, and the beginnings of a fine art collection of approachable and engaging pieces from the local community and beyond.”
The six prominent works of experiential art featured in the space encapsulate the organization’s mission and history:
- “Prisms”, an amalgamation of acrylic prisms and vinyl created in 2021, this work of colored acrylic prisms in assorted sizes and in random clusters serves as a visual representation of pride, hope, intersectionality and community. The prisms invoke, bend and transform light to create color and illumination from darkness. With the triangular shape of the prisms being a nod to the upside-down triangle often associated with LGBTQIA+ identity and originally a label used by the Nazis to identify LGBTQIA+ people in concentration camps, this installation re-interprets and reclaims these symbols to create art and beauty.
- “Meaning”, a white neon and aluminum work created in 2021 borrows a well-known Keith Haring quote, “Nothing has meaning. Everything has meaning.”, and modifies it to repeat in an endless loop. The loop conveys the disorienting duality of living through a time of hopelessness and significance at the beginning of the AIDS crisis and throughout the HIV pandemic since the 1980s. This same world-shifting duality is echoed in today’s present-day reality with the COVID-19 pandemic and some people’s apparent indifference to a crisis unfolding in real time.
- “SILENCE = DEATH”, an acrylic work with LED lights and aluminum created in 2021 features a frosted acrylic panel pin-mounted in front of the glowing white message “SILENCIO = MUERTE” connotes the initial indifference and continued ignorance toward the AIDS pandemic and those it affected and continues to affect. This apathy and ignorance lead to the eventual need for organized protests to draw attention to the crisis with the famous protest sign quote; “Silence = Death.” Here, it is rendered in Spanish as an homage to Texas’ Latinx communities and the approximately 19% of Latinx people currently living with HIV.
- “Shifting Identities”, an acrylic and vinyl heat-formed work that features gradients derived from LGBTQIA+ identity pride flags that are transposed upon amorphous acrylic panels, suggesting gently rippling fabric or water. The free-forms of the gradients connote the ever-changing understanding and acceptance around sexuality and gender identity both by the LGBTQIA+ community, its allies and the world at large.
- “See Yourself in the Crisis”, a dimensional array of undulating acrylic rods with mirrored faces arranged to show the number of HIV/AIDS cases since the AIDS crisis began in 1980 until 2015. The mirrored faces create a dynamic effect that engages the viewer or passerby to confront their role in the story of the crisis and how it affected or affects them and their community. The display is structured so that everything in the bottom row of rods represents HIV/AIDS cases in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, with the upper row being the rest of the world, offering another perspective on the crisis and its outcomes.
- “We’re All Human Beings”, a lenticular wall display that reads “We need to understand that whatever we do, we’re all human beings first,” a quote by the iconic LGBTQIA+ and HIV activist Billy Porter when viewed from one direction and a graphic derived from an untitled Keith Haring painting when viewed from the other. This juxtaposition of this quote and artwork evokes the vibrancy of life and diversity of humanity, regardless of circumstances or stigma. The lenticular effect invites contemplation on changing perspectives and points of view, leading to a more open and compassionate society for all.
Eliza Solender of Solender/Hall represented PHNTX in the brokerage process for both the 3900 Junius Street space and the 4004 Worth Street Health Center. The two buildings on the BUMC campus are in a centralized location among the organization’s three sexual wellness clinics and pharmacies, as well as being close to methods of public transportation, easing access to multiple areas of care from the organization.
“COVID-19 did not stop Prism Health North Texas from thinking creatively about real estate and how best to meet the needs of its patients and staff,” Solender said. “What initially started as a small community outreach center grew to the creation of a campus for PHNTX including its corporate offices and a new patient services center – all conveniently located on the Baylor campus. Interestingly, the entire process took place during the pandemic.”
The main staff and visitor entry floor lobby lounge feature open and semi-private furniture groupings inviting connections, meetings, and chance gatherings in a hospitality-like atmosphere. An open and inviting concierge desk is backed by a curved screen of vertical, dichroic fins reflecting and refracting the light. Visitors are welcomed by polished concrete floors bordering carpeted workspaces and exposed building structure ceilings within the corridors flanked by screens of acoustical-felt ceiling baffles. Sections of gallery white walls showcase a curated art and placemaking connection and give way to bleached oak wall panels and custom bookcases. Together, these elements achieve an aesthetic balance of dark and light, warm neutral and bold color, creating a functional and innovative office environment to support and elevate the important work of PHNTX.
“We were so honored to work with the incredible teams of DLR Group and Solender/Hall,” said Dr. John Carlo, Chief Executive Officer of Prism Health North Texas. “It has been amazing to be able to have offices designed with such intentionality towards supporting our staff’s work in taking care of patients.”