Kirklin Clinic was designed to consolidate numerous outpatient clinics scattered throughout the University of Alabama’s hospital district. The 9-acre site, encompassing 2 1/2 city blocks, was bisected by two streets and surrounded by unrelated buildings of different character and bulk. The project required a new facility with its own distinctive identity, but which would also complement the university’s existing medical center – an integrated complex that could be built in stages without losing coherence.
In solution, possession of the entire site was taken at the beginning, and the complex was designed as a whole: two asymmetrical U-shaped wings, identical in size and shape, that step up and back from each other across a city street to create a public fountain court at the center of each “U.” Only the first building was executed.
The granite exterior is organized on a regular grid that reflects the building’s internal organization. Ceramic frit on most glazed surfaces produces a white cast that tonally integrates with the exterior cladding. On the interior, the frit – closely spaced ceramic lines fused to the surface – refracts sunshine for a soft, warm light.
Design Team: I. M. Pei, Design Partner; C. C. Pei, Project Architect
Pei Cobb Freed & Partners