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Medical building design reflects American history

Chickasaw Nation Heath Clinic, Tishomingo, Okla.

A variety of materials and finishes were detailed to represent textures and patterns associated with the culture and traditions of the Chickasaw people, a Native American tribe, for the Chickasaw Nation Heath Clinic, Tishomingo, Okla. Nation Health Clinic. The focal point of the 53,000-square-foot clinic is the main entrance atrium. The form and material selection were inspired by the sun, which represents life and revitalization of the soul, and the Chickasaw shield, which represents the Chickasaw Nation's strength. James R. Childers Architect Inc. designed the medical building with Dri-Design's Tapered Series metal panels installed at the center of the clinic, and at the stair towers flanking both ends of the building, to emulate the texture and color of the Chickasaw native blackberry, which is notable in the tribe's history. Approximately 5,300 square feet of the Tapered Series 0.80-aluminum panels in Charcoal was utilized on the facility. Breck Childers, project architect, says the Chickasaw Nation Health Clinic is a high-design project that was challenging to complete on schedule and budget. "We were trying to find materials that would best represent the natural elements that were integral to the design," he says. Childers notes they thought the appearance and design flexibility of Tapered Series panels would best create a representative image of the Chickasaw Nation blackberry. Dri-Design staff provided his firm with a panel grid, he says, that they then marked up to create the blackberry pattern by specifying the exact direction each panel would taper, and to what degree. "The panels really produced the desired effect," Childers adds. The new Chickasaw Nation Health Clinic, constructed through a joint venture with Indian Health Services to meet the health care needs of the Native American population in the southeastern region of Chickasaw Nation, is four times larger than the original clinic, which opened more than 40 years ago. The clinic includes 21 examination rooms, 12 dental chairs, pharmacy services, diagnostic laboratories, eye care, audiology, behavioral health and comprehensive community health services.

General contractor: Flintco LLC, Tulsa, Okla.
Architect: James R. Childers Architect Inc., Fort Smith, Ark.
Installer: NOW Specialties Inc., Carrollton, Texas
Metal wall panels: Dri-Design, Holland, Mich.,