15107 Vanowen St, Van Nuys, CA 

This 18,000 square foot multi-purpose, environmentally coordinated center is used for continuing education programs for the hospital’s nurses and staff. The Center is also made available for lectures and programs conducted by the hospital for student nurses from other recognized groups and organizations in the community. The existing hospital is a series of centrally connected, multi-story, cylindrical buildings. The new Center is architecturally compatible with these structures, and the overall concern for environmental impact on the surrounding neighborhood was influential in the design.

Since the new Health Education Center would be viewed by many patient rooms, the concept of converting the roof of the new structure to a park was employed. The design lowers the floor level of the Center below the normal ground level, and surrounds the building with landscaped berms. The berms provide a green park-like appearance to the surrounding neighborhood at the ground level. The Center includes a multi-purpose auditorium designed to accomodate a variety of audio-visual educational techniques, with the capability of division into two smaller meeting rooms, a library, and several classrooms. Also included are administrative offices and service spaces.

The roof of the Center is a plaza, paved and landscaped for walking, eating and relaxing. It has rest areas in the central section with benches, permanent umbrellas, and a party area for special events such as fundraising functions.

The glass areas of the Center are oriented north or protected by overhangs. This feature, the insulating qualities of the surrounding earth berms, and the thick plaza-style roof all contribute significantly toward reduction of heating and cooling energy requirements.

Based in Los Angeles, Calif.