KAI recently celebrated the grand opening of the Lacy Clay Center for Children’s Health in St. Louis, Mo. KAI provided architecture, MEP engineering and interior design on the $6 million project.
Located at 5647 Delmar Blvd., the new 18,000-square-foot facility provides behavioral health, clinical and counseling support to children ages three to 17. The facility is owned by Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers.
The three-story facility houses administrative offices, examination rooms, therapy spaces, conference rooms, a kitchen, medical records room and an art therapy room, with two outdoor roof terraces on the third level.
KAI designed the family-friendly facility to be bright, open and comfortable. Day lighting was utilized throughout the building's design to promote the productivity and well-being of the building's occupants, while large windows were specified in rooms where children would gather, such as the art therapy room.
The building's exterior was designed for low-maintenance and durability, featuring a combination of fiber cement panels, brick veneer, aluminum storefront and curtain wall glazing systems. The building is supported on spread footings bearing on structural fill, with load bearing masonry wall construction and interior steel columns and steel bar joist.
KAI's interior design team focused on creating a soothing atmosphere using neutral and cool tones and incorporating soft metals that glimmer when light reflects off the material. Floor to ceiling, curved metal panels are used as an artistic piece on a wall greeting visitors as they enter the main lobby. The same language follows as curves are used in the floor pattern, ceiling clouds and reception desk.
Thoughtful use of color in the flooring, art panels, furniture and casework is seen throughout the second floor. KAI worked with St. Louis artist Cbabi Bayoc to create various artistic images of children playing within tempered glass panels to define each waiting area on the second floor. KAI consulted with health center representatives to select furniture for the first and second floor public areas that utilized materials that could withstand a healthcare environment and worked well with the color scheme.
"The overall goal was to deliver a great project that was within the budget," said KAI Interior Specialist Asha Perez. "We listened and paid close attention to the needs of the owner and the community whom we understood would visit this building."
Dwayne A. Butler, CEO of Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health, expressed his satisfaction with KAI's work, calling the building, "a game changer in urban behavioral health."
"My performance expectations of our team have always been so high, that I am rarely shocked by the product of our efforts, but after taking a tour of the interior of our new children's building, I was almost speechless. The new building is utterly extraordinary. I cannot imagine a more fitting gift to our communities' most ignored and deserving children and families," said Butler.