JGMA designed Esperanza Brighton Park health center to be a glowing beacon, welcoming residents seeking health care and wellness services in an underserved southwest Chicago neighborhood.
The building is a long rectangular box with angled ends. Parallelogram-shaped metal panels create horizontal and diagonal joint lines across the long sides of the building. Punched windows are also parallelogram shapes.
The front of the building is a short side of the building’s rectangular bar form. At it, the top of the wall angles inward toward the ground. Also, a large picture window that spans the second floor opens up the interior to the outside. The picture window is inset on the façade with vertical metal panels above and below it, and triangular metal panels at the sides.
Tony Lemmon, project manager at East Coast Metal Systems Inc., which fabricated metal composite material (MCM) for the exterior cladding, says the picture window frame at the east side of the building has a 60-degree radius. “[The form is] an inverted triangle that looks like a set of wings,” he adds.
The long sides of the building are clad with MCM panels that shift colors from red to orange and yellow as different wavelengths of light are reflected. Those colors are representative of colors in Esperanza Health Centers’ logo.
Juan Gabriel Moreno, AIA, president and founder at JGMA, says, “We’ve reinforced the Esperanza brand identity with this cladding. You don’t have to put a big neon sign on this building to know that it’s Esperanza.”
To complete the exterior cladding, East Coast Metal Systems fabricated two colors of 3A Composites USA Inc.’s 4-mm-thick ALUCOBOND PLUS MCM. On the long sides of the health center, Tuschall Engineering Co. Inc. installed MCM in Cupral from the Spectra Collection. Cupral appears red, orange and yellow, depending on light and viewing angle.
“Most of the Cupral panels around the windows have both vertical and horizontal returns to the window,” says Lemmon. “These panel shapes cannot be fabricated out of a single sheet of ALUCOBOND, so we utilized two sheets of ALUCOBOND PLUS and chemically welded the returns to the face of the panels.”
At the front, short side of the building, Tuschall Engineering installed MCM in Platinum Mica from the Classic Collection.
Brendan Nolan, project manager at Tuschall Engineering Co., says, “The angles on this project are really unique. This was the first time that we had installed parallelogram panels in a grid pattern. We got it right by coordinating with the other contractors and carefully following the drawings.”
The two-story, 26,000-square-foot health center houses clinical office space, 30 exam rooms, diagnostic and treatment services space, and retail pharmacy. Outside, there are 69 parking spaces, outdoor walking paths, a garden and playground.
“We wanted this design to feel like a community building, not just a health care center,” says Moreno. “The neighborhood lacks parks and open space. We wanted to incorporate the outdoors as a part of wellness.”