Unity Health Benning Road

  • area / size 37,000 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • Type Clinic,
  • Gensler delivered the design for Unity Health Benning Road which provides equitable access to high-quality affordable healthcare in Washington DC.

    Historically in Washington DC’s Ward 7 and 8 east of the Anacostia River, residents lack access to specialty healthcare providers and are forced to travel outside of their community to meet their healthcare needs. To close this gap, Unity Health Care—a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC)—is collaborating with Howard University Hospital (HUH) to bring specialty healthcare services east of the river. The two partners are launching a state-of-the-art health center located in a mixed use building developed and operated by local nonprofit So Others Might Eat (SOME) who will host affordable housing and low-income job training programs. The two-level facility features 52 exam rooms, 10 consult rooms, 6 dental operatories, and 5 procedure rooms to offer comprehensive treatment for primary and specialty medical care, behavioral health, dental, urgent care, as well as WIC, laboratory and pharmacy services.

    Unity hosts its services on the first and second floors, with an additional suite for HUH located on the second floor. Based on a long-running relationship with Unity and using Gensler’s research led by designers at the Unity Brentwood clinic as precedent, Gensler was chosen to design the new healthcare center at Benning Road. Designed as a Patient-Centered Medical Home, the medical clinic is organized into six multidisciplinary teams that each run a pod of six exam rooms. The health center transforms the patient experience for patients who have been left out in the past with x-ray, mammography and primary care services. Clever pops of color define different zones of the clinic and provide clear wayfinding throughout the space.

    The partnership between HUH and Unity aligns both organization’s missions to eradicate healthcare disparities and serve the diverse healthcare needs of DC’s underserved communities in an innovative new facility.

    Design: Gensler
    Photography: Halkin Mason Photography