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  Desert Pain Institute, Page 46Desert Pain Institute
1130 N. Second Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Mesa, Arizona
Total Square Feet: 29,400
Construction Period: Apr 2001 to Aug 2002 

Construction Team
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Homes & Son Contractors, Inc. - 4105 N. 20th Street, #130, Phoenix, AZ 85016
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: KPFF Consulting Engineers - 2800 N. Central Avenue, #1010, Phoenix, AZ 85004
ELECTRICAL & MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Sullivan Designs, Inc. - 7878 N. 16th Street, #270, Phoenix, AZ 85020
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Sonoran Desert - 31055 N. 56th Street, Cave Creek, AZ 85331
COST ESTIMATOR: The Orcutt/Winslow Partnership - 1130 N. Second Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004

The Desert Pain Institute is a comprehensive alternative medicine clinic that specializes in pain management. There are four main components that make up the building: a wellness clinic/ office, an outpatient surgical suite containing four operating suites, a physical therapy wing and an aquatic therapy center which houses two therapy pools and a jacuzzi.

Every stage of this project builds upon the belief that a healing environment must be grounded in the natural. The Desert Pain Institute focuses on quality naturopathic and homeopathy treatment and the facility#s design is based on the foundations of these philosophies. The design reverses the institutional character that often accompanies healthcare facilities through the incorporation of interior gardens, colors and finishes that promote healing, and truly exemplifies the nature of incorporating green architecture and a healing environment into one unique medical clinic.

Although design with the Arizona desert in mind, the oriental philosophies of Feng Shui and BioGeometry are evident throughout. Western Feng Shui principles create a separation between the wellness and physical therapy spaces, which naturally outline a fracture in the building to signify the underlying boundaries and form waiting spaces and interior courtyards. The main entrance opens up the building, slightly, to a labyrinth which was designed to help reinforce the natural energy that flows from the northwest (power) corner of the site. Thus, providing a facility that offers comfort and repose for its clients and a balance in both the human element and the natural surroundings.

Using the owner's criteria of quality and environmental excellence, this green building was designed to expose all of the exterior block walls on the interior. A unique and simplistic design was created by only using two types of block, a 8 x 8 x 16-inch desert khaki and a 12 x 8 x 16-inch chocolate. The 12-inch walls were used to create and accent the fracture through the building in which programmatically separates the clinical functions from the therapeutic, and essentially splits the building in two parts. The architect accentuated the building linear form by raking the horizontal joints on the desert khaki block, and created a unique accent on the 12-inch block by angling each course out from the face of the block wall about 7/8-inch. The band effect was continued by repeating it every fourth course vertically. When one moves throughout the building, the accented block is visible and changes patterns throughout the day depending on where the sun is located. The block was sandblasted lightly to help blend the color, and reveal some of the interior aggregates. The use of exposed copper siding and roofing creates the perfect accent of the block construction.

By keeping the block patterns simple and creating a mass/void approach, the building exemplifies that contemporary design may be accomplished by "keeping it simple." The facility exudes strength, stability, and quality around every corner. And lastly, the design truly complements the down-to-earth materials and the qualities of the desert.

DIV 04: Block: Superlite.
DIV 07: Foam Roof: Omniguard; Copper: Kovach.
DIV 09: Cork: Expanko.

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