With last week’s media spotlight on Planned Parenthood in light of the Komen Foundation attempting to pull funding from the organization, I’ve spent quite some time looking for an example of a thoughtful design for a Planned Parenthood clinic. It wasn’t the easiest of tasks, but it proved fruitful in the end when I discovered San Fransisco firm Fougeron Architecture’s work at two California clinics. Planned Parenthood is a unique client due to budgetary constraints and security concerns. As California Architects discusses in an article on the projects “it is an architecture, which lives in the political realm, it has to deal with real life issue of guns, bullet resistant materials, dangerous acids and young women being terrorized.” Fougeron’s designs sway slightly to the “clinical” side of the healthcare design spectrum, and include necessities such as bulletproof glass and materials all around, doors that lock on closing, and panic buttons everywhere. All of this security is actually very low profile, and the overall effects are of those of dabbled natural light skimming over varied surfaces in a spirited, clean and contemporary environment. In an interview with The Architect’s Take, Anne Fougeron explains:
With the Planned Parenthood clinics, I didn’t want clinics that look like a prison. There’s already so much victimization of women… why punish them further by making them come to a jail for basic care? Ninety percent of Planned Parenthood’s business is providing basic gyn care – exams, pap smears – for women who can’t afford it any other way. These women already going through enough in their lives. Some of them already have other traumas to work through. The clinics should make them feel wanted and safe.