Grand Forks, ND
Preserving a Legacy
To redefine rural healthcare with an alliance of provider partnerships and primary care outreach for the community’s underserved, Spectra Health needed to first redefine the use of its historic building’s second floor. The Grand Forks’ building, now a 40,000 square foot healthcare center, has storied roots as Deaconess Hospital, originally St. Luke’s Hospital, which was founded in 1892 and became the first hospital in America built and owned by a Scandinavian. With 79 years of service to the region, it was important to preserve its legacy of healing, but also modernize its presence to create holistic wellness that would support the diverse needs of Spectra’s patients and the coalition of primary care providers.
Centered in the heart of downtown, Spectra recognized an opportunity to expand their outreach with an inclusive healthcare center designed to meet the convenience and care needs of vulnerable residents nearby. Their solution provides simplified access to primary care, reduced language barriers for new Americans, and accommodates patients who lack insurance or transportation. Collaborating with JLG Architects on a new master plan, Spectra Health explored a more progressive design that not only preserved the building’s history, but also created a flexible environment that supported their inclusive model and fusion of primary well checks and behavioral healthcare.
Spectra Health’s initial renovation phase focused on reconfiguring the second floor to accommodate three behavioral health exam rooms, an optometry department, flex space for additional providers, a staff respite space, a new lobby, reception alcove, and waiting area. To achieve optimal use of the floor’s 2,880 square feet, JLG worked within a modular construction design, including demountable partitions, making Spectra’s space easily adaptable for future provider partnerships and the privacy needs of behavioral health.
As the patient’s first impression, the lobby alcove sets the tone for modern wellness with a nature-inspired palette of wood, geometric shapes, warm hues, and soothing textures. Throughout the interior, biophilic color tones are used in an array of sustainable, locally sourced, and American-made materials, directly representative of Spectra Health’s branding. The floor’s new waiting area is comprised of modern bench seating, the building’s salvaged green accent tile, and a large-scale super graphic showcasing an aerial view of the prior Deaconess Hospital. The green tile was the original wall tile in the operating rooms, dating back to the early 1900s when this area served as Deaconess’ surgical floor. Great care was taken by JLG, the contractor, and Spectra Health to preserve this piece of history and showcase the reuse of the building’s existing materials.
Within the renovation, JLG also addressed the floor’s primary natural light sources – two large windows lending light to the main corridors and waiting area. The reconfiguration was curated to capture the natural light and avoid obstruction, specifically in the behavioral wing where environmental wellness is concentrated. Beyond the hospital’s original green tile in the waiting area and on the exam room columns, JLG was also able to restore the building’s exterior window openings, maximizing daylight and views in the exam rooms.
To complete the renovation on the historic envelope, JLG improved the building’s air quality by integrating products with low VOC emissions and utilizing well-ventilated areas to off-gas individual items. Through a flexible, comprehensive design that extends the life of the building and preserves its history, Spectra Health has adaptable space to meet the needs of their providers and continue its community-driven mission to provide inclusive healthcare access without economic barriers – creating a healthier and more equitable community for all.