City Heights Family Health Center
The tour of this project was both heartwarming and downright upsetting to the jury. The mission of the City Heights Family Health Center is admirable, to say the least, but the faux Mediterranean architecture of its new facility is undeniably… well, dreadful.
Its nominator wrote, “it’s a lost opportunity on a street that needs all the help it can get.” The jury agreed, and found the structure to be monolithic, yet anonymous - with no street presence, and no attempt to engage its community. As notably demonstrated by the faux, slate-covered windows, it communicates more of a ‘Do Not Enter’ sign than a ‘Welcome’ to the very community that the people within work so passionately to serve.
The staff has created a more playful atmosphere inside by including personal touches, including walls covered with art by local kids and adults. Justifiably proud, and so obviously relieved to have the physical square feet to really do some good, this new building has also enabled its dedicated staff to triple the number of patients they serve, from 40 to a remarkable 120 patients per day. In this case, the jury noted that it would be preferable to give the Onion to the designer, and not the owner.
A somber tone and a few moist eyes reentered the jury bus after the tour. First one, and then a second juror lamented, 'how can we possibly give these people an Onion?' Another responded, “Because they deserve better."
As painful as the jury found it to award this excellent organization with an Onion for its building’s architecture, coming in at 90.9% the People too, felt this community-serving operation, its patients and employees simply deserved better.
- Project Address: 5454 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115
- Project Owner/ Developer: Family Health Centers of San Diego
- Owner Contact Name/ Email: Jennette Lawrence, Director, Government & Community Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Project Architect/ Designer: Hutson & Partners
If your sick, this buiding could make you sicker. This is a lost opportunity on a street that needs all the help it can get.