Unity Care NW

ClientNorth Whatcom Health Center
LocationFerndale, WA
Medical ConsultantMarcus Johnson, AIA
StatLEED Silver
HighlightsHealthcare, Non-profit, Federally Qualified Healthcare Protected Wetlands Design, Medical Building, Dental Building, Pharmacy, Labs, Behavioral Health Building, LEED Silver

Unity Care NW (UCNW), a Federally Qualified Health Center with four locations in Whatcom County, serves approximately 20,000 residents. The organization provides care to anyone in need regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. Since 2008, UCNW’s patient population has increased by 74%. 

For Unity Care’s Ferndale building, they envisioned a model of inclusive, coordinated care in a convenient location to serve 9,500 north Whatcom County residents. Their new, two-story health center serves as a one-stop shop, supporting medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, and lab services in a facility that fosters a sense of respect, comfort, and trust. Together with Unity Care and the interior design team from Bassetti Architects, RMC led a process marked by deep collaboration and a healthy respect for limited financial and environmental resources. The design emphasizes ease of orientation for patients, workspaces that facilitate integrated flow between patients and providers, and ongoing access to daylight and landscape views. 

The building is sited and designed to take advantage of protected wetlands. The building’s form of joined angular and orthogonal geometries provides open views, maximizes first-floor program adjacencies, and creates a clear building entrance point.

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