The American Institute of Architects’ Academy of Architecture for Health has recognized Michael W. Folonis Architects for the design of the UCLA Outpatient Surgery and Oncology Center in Santa Monica.

The Santa Monica architecture firm won the academy’s 2011 National Healthcare Honor Design Award in the unbuilt category for the surgery center, which is scheduled to be completed in early December.

The firm designed a 50,000-square foot hybrid facility to house community outpatient surgery and oncology treatment, as well as academic and medical office facilities for UCLA medical students and faculty. The new building, developed by Randall Miller of Nautilus Group, is slated for LEED Gold certification.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by the AIA for this center of healing and medical discovery,” said architect Folonis. “We are even more delighted to be able to utilize technological advancements to provide an elegant, relaxing environment for patients, doctors, nurses, and staff.”

Architects said they were inspired by Modernist principles of indoor-outdoor connectivity, passive solar design, and a reduced materials palette to create a patient-focused healing environment that achieves a high standard of efficiency in healthcare design.

“Through generous use of daylighting and sensitivity to the quality and character of light, the designers created a synergy – making the most of each design move – that we found in few other projects,” noted the institute’s jury, which selected only two unbuilt projects for awards.

Sustainable features include a passive solar design, recycled and locally sourced materials, the use of efficient water systems, and a large roof-top photovoltaic system providing approximately 15 percent of the building’s energy needs.

In addition to the 2011 National Healthcare Honor Design Award, the surgery center project has also won a 2010 NEXT LA Honor Award from AIA/Los Angeles, and a 2010 Westside Prize from the Westside Urban Forum.

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