West Side Family Health Center
The City of Columbus needed to expand the existing Hilltop Health Center’s capacity to provide services to the many uninsured and economically disadvantaged patients in the Hilltop, Franklinton and Westland neighborhood communities. The city was able to triple the number of patients served and preserve the 95 year old Engine House No. 17, a historically significant local landmark, by expanding it with a new 2 story addition to create the new Columbus West Family Health and Wellness Center. SMBH was able to facilitate the architect’s goal of returning the existing firehouse to a useable, unified space by designing support so that a large portion of 14” thick brick bearing wall could be removed from the ground floor to the existing 2 nd floor level. Removal of the wall linked the new 2 story main lobby to the existing firehouse ground floor and created open flow to new meeting spaces for community meetings, social events and local groups. An elevated bridge and an additional new opening in the bearing wall were also created to connect administrative offices on the 2 nd floor of the firehouse to the new medical facilities in the addition. Special structural details were developed to hold the roof structure back from the face of the firehouse exterior wall to allow natural light into the existing 2 nd story windows overlooking the new lobby. Brick was added to the new addition to compliment the existing firehouse and blend the two exteriors. SMBH designed a custom steel “C” shaped bent plate brick support band and lintels that provided an interesting architectural feature while also providing a support structure for the building’s many sunshades. Additionally, a clerestory was designed with a parapet constructed from cantilevered steel channels to form a sunshade to maximize daylight while minimizing unwanted solar heat gain. To further allow day lighting throughout the building, the shape of the braced frame required for building lateral support was modified to allow optimum window placement in the building exterior. To maximize building square footage while maintaining a pleasing relationship with the existing firehouse, the shape of the addition is composed of various intersecting angles. A steel frame was chosen to allow flexibility of column placement within the unusual building shape. SMBH worked with the architect to locate the columns within partition walls so as not to interrupt room flow and transfer beams were designed to stagger column locations between the ground and 2 nd floor levels. Modified foundation detailing and design were required to allow the face of the building to align with the edge of the right of way with out encroaching on it. This project achieved LEED Silver certification.