Hampton County Health Clinic
Category: Built - less than $25 million (construction cost)
“This project brings dignity, hope, and joy to the community it supports.” - Jury comment
A project that began in the face of significant economic hardship, chiefly a 15% unemployment rate, this facility serving two rural South Carolina communities reflects the region’s faith in its future. The project was initiated through a bond referendum citizens passed to fund a dozen community projects. This health clinic was identified as a top priority, was the first to be constructed, and has emerged as a source of optimism for the community.
The new facility, a joint venture between county and state agencies, replaces an outdated, 50-year-old structure. Given the site’s location in a former railroad town, simple materials and massing were employed to evoke the boxcars that used to roll through. Inside, patient care areas are divided between clinical care and care for women, infants, and children. Each features its own service corridor and waiting areas, all with ample natural light that enhances the environment for patients facing potentially difficult diagnoses.
“Functional and understated, it is a fantastic little jewel box made of simple forms and modest materials...It is wonderful to see such thoughtful care and attention given to a rural community health facility. It is a building they can take pride in.” - Jury comment
Privacy was a key factor in determining the program and organization of the clinic’s spaces. The main entrance faces away from the adjacent main road, allowing expectant young mothers and those facing stigmatized diseases to remain secluded/maintain privacy when seeking care. A canopy of tongue and groove ipe clads the entrance’s canopy and serves as an extended waiting area for families who gather to vaccinate their children.
The previous facility was rife with asbestos, had poor ventilation, and was prone to flooding. Its disrepair communicated a lack of dedication to the community and often compromised the health of those seeking care there. At the new facility’s ribbon cutting ceremony, the team noted a shift in perception and mood, confirming it had delivered a modest but noble clinic reflective of the community’s emboldened spirit.