An Organic Space for a Growing Nonprofit
CrescentCare Health & Wellness Center
NO/AIDS Task Force is Louisiana's most comprehensive AIDS Services Organization. In 2013, they received a major grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, designating the organization a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). The grant allowed NO/AIDS Task Force to broaden their mission to provide high-quality healthcare to traditionally underserved populations.
As part of a multi-phase master plan, the renamed CrescentCare would expand their focus to include members of the service industry, the LGBT community, and residents of developing neighborhoods. To further professionalize the organization, the nonprofit sought to create a flagship clinic to provide first-class medical care.
A site was selected in the centrally located Marine Office Building on Tulane Avenue. While the building was accessible to the organization’s core demographics, it had housed office space since opening in 1958. SCNZ would need to breathe new life into the space, transforming three floors of the building into a multifaceted medical environment that felt welcoming and wellness-focused—more like a spa than a doctor's office.
With its large windows and welcoming lighting, CrescentCare’s first floor reception acts as a beacon to Tulane Avenue. A large live oak mural, recalling the Tree of Life, provides a sense of calm and stability. Five intake cubicles, flanked by an in-house pharmacy, allow for private collection of insurance and patient information.
...the design colors, textures, lighting and organization elevate and stimulate the human spirit, and illustrates the skill of the architects to work within the rigor of the existing building
Award of Merit Judges AIA Louisiana
Wayfinding is aided by light boxes serving as directional cues, and a botanical motif graces the building, with natural materials, leaves, and flowers encased in resin panels.
The second floor houses thirteen exam rooms, added reception and waiting areas, offices, Behavioral Health Rooms, a laboratory, a healthy living classroom, and a demonstration kitchen. The fifth floor houses a dental clinic, the Sexual Health Center (in partnership with LSU), and additional administrative offices
In 2016, the project was recognized with an Award of Merit from the AIA Louisiana. The judges noted, “the design colors, textures, lighting and organization elevate and stimulate the human spirit, and illustrates the skill of the architects to work within the rigor of the existing building," and "all the materials and surfaces have low maintenance and durability foremost in mind, yet the overall effect is calming, caring, and comfortable. The design synthesis is more akin to hospitality and hotel than to low-income healthcare."
In 2017, CrescentCare scored a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Index for healthcare facilities leading in LGBTQ Health Care Equality.
"We had a vision of transforming an unattractive, aging 1950’s office building into a state-of-the-art medical and dental center. We wanted to ensure that our clinic sites were clinics of choice rather than clinics of last resort. The talented, creative, and enthusiastic professionals at SCNZ Architects delivered on all accounts. Our patients love this facility".
Noel Twilbeck CEO, CrescentCare