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Cassie Welch



Stephen F. Austin State University

Graduation Year:

I am entering this competition because I feel that it is a great opportunity to challenge myself and explore future career opportunities. With this project being a multipurpose commercial facility, I am seeking to broaden my skills and knowledge within the design field.

Concept Statement:
For the community health and wellness center, I designed the interior of the facility with the community residents’ needs in mind. Upon entering the facility, the large stone feature centered between the reception windows welcomes patients into the space. With a simple layout planned specifically for ease of patient orientation, the clinic minimizes feelings of anxiety and nervousness.

Adjacent to the waiting room is the entrance to the community center. With informational display cases near the doors, residents are able to feel involved and aware of community events and issues. As you walk through the hall of the community center, you are greeted by a nutritional cafe and a generously sized sitting area. Users are able to relax and rejuvenate themselves before or after a workout underneath a suspended ceiling, mimicking the building’s unique front facade.

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Large windows bring in a generous amount of natural light, giving the space a fresh look and feel. Continuing past the cafe and seating area and through the double glass doors, an informational desk directs users into the intimate seating area outside of the auditorium. Serving as a grand focal point and naturalistic feature, a glazed glass waterfall backed by a natural stone wall gives the space a tranquil and pleasing vibe.

Each multipurpose room in the community center is attached to an exterior wall allowing a large amount of light to enter, conserving electricity during bright hours of the day. Following a hallway toward the fitness center, small alcoves provide seating for rest stops or private conversations. At the end of the hallway, an open area with comfortable seating and interior windows allows views into the fitness center, inspiring users to get active, and enjoy the cardio equipment and free weights. Hanging behind a curtain wall of windows along the exterior walls of the center are tinted acrylic wall art pieces of fitness cutouts that give the space a pop of color, and encourage users to stay motivated and lively. A neutral color palette paired with a bright yellow accent stripe keeps the room looking tailored yet still energetic. Nestled in the corner of the fitness center is a regulation-size racquetball court. This gives users an alternative to traditional exercise.

While designing the facility, I kept in mind sustainable solutions to improve on the design. First, taking advantage of the large windows spanning the entire left and right exterior walls of the building, I positioned patient rooms, some offices and the multipurpose rooms to provide a large amount of natural lighting. Parallel to the exterior, I placed clerestory windows on the outer wall of each room to allow extra light to leak into the interior spaces that lack natural light. With the addition of large amounts of exterior lighting, daylighting controls can be implemented to reduce energy costs. Second, I took into consideration the need for indoor air quality. With a medical clinic receiving patients with sickness and other issues, the need to keep the air well-ventilated and fresh was vital. My design will use a commercial ventilation system throughout the facility to reduce energy costs and keep the building ventilated properly. Lastly, I chose all the facility finishes with sustainability in mind. Furniture fabrics contain contents that comply with LEED criteria or are of Crypton Green material. Both features paired with the use of local materials and finishes for the project contribute to environmental responsibility in my design.