Nursing Simulation Lab for Barton College

Simulation and Observation Area

Simulation and Observation Area

New lab to support the utilization of the Laerdal simulation platform. Existing lab space to be transformed from a traditional laboratory space to a three-bay simulation lab. The bays are flexible, designed for critical, maternal, and pediatric care with the ability to adapt one of the bays for adult health. Incorporates hygienic practices to develop standard practice. Includes an observation room and briefing room to improve synergy between simulation and learning.

Design Completed 2018

Conference / Breifing Room

Conference / Breifing Room

Carolina Family Dental Clinic is Complete

Exterior View

Exterior View

When the Carolina Family Dental Center outgrew its pre-manufactured building, they sought a more welcoming, efficient environment for patients and staff. This economical design provides natural light, a pleasant atmosphere, and the space and technology to meet the needs of its surrounding community.

The center accommodates four dentists with fifteen operatories and a sterilization room. Using building-information modeling, we were able to provide plans that allowed the client to pre-visualize the proposed spaces, as well as the building exterior.

Throughout construction, the clinic was able to maintain uninterrupted operations in their existing facility while new construction took place on the existing site.

This design includes a low-maintenance metal roof and the instillation of a full new vacuum system.

Interior of Waiting Room

Interior of Waiting Room

Wilson Community Health Center wins Design Award from American Institute of Architects-NC Eastern Section

Wilson Community Health Center, designed by Skinner Lamm & Highsmith Architects has won a Design Award in the Service Category from American Institute of Architects-NC Eastern Section.  "This modest yet iconic building provides critical health services to three counties.  It considers the existing context and accommodates the growing spacial needs of the existing facility." Jury comments from 2016 AIA NC Eastern Section Service Awards

The clinic’s success facilitated the need to expand.  More parking, a covered drop-off, additional office space, a larger pharmacy, and a more spacious waiting room were needed.  We maintained the design attributes of the original structure including the playful placement of punched openings, use of scored block and metal panels.  Utilizing additional properties adjacent to the original clinic, the main entrance was relocated to the new building where parking was also added.  The building angles in deference to the main train line that separates downtown Wilson from the residential area to the East allowing maximum space for parking.


We designed the original Wilson Community Health Center clinic building that was completed in 2005.  This facility won a merit award from the Eastern Section of the NCAIA in 2006. The current project for the addition and renovation was completed in 2015.  The finished facility is 31,461 SF with 17,775 SF being new construction.  The 2005 clinic building was also renovated (4,523 SF).


This building had to be designed in a way that allows full use of the facility during construction of the new building.  Careful site placement and building configuration facilitate a functional flow of patients as well as security for staff.  The pharmacy is strategically placed to allow it to function independently for staff and very conveniently for patients.

The new 2-story addition is constructed from load bearing masonry walls with bar joists supporting a concrete deck.  The rooftop mechanical unit is concealed from view by an extension of the metal panels.  The connection between existing and new construction was kept small to minimized shoring of the existing structure.

The site is located at a junction between a residential district where many of the clinics patrons reside and Wilson’s downtown /warehouse district.  It is surrounded by urban streets on all 4 sides and is bounded by the main rail line to the southeast.  The train station is located to the south of the site and to the north is the Old Wilson Historic District.


Sustainable features include locating the building on a dense urban site that was previously developed and is very well connected to the community that it serves by walking, bicycling, and public transportation.  The site features water efficient landscaping and the impervious area was actually decreased with the addition.  Windows provide natural light and views while an energy efficient mechanical and lighting system were employed.  A large portion of the exterior is covered with metal panels that have a very high recycled content.

What's Important in the Design of a Cancer Center

1194-01 A modern cancer center is a place where people go to fight for their lives. Health care providers, using the latest scientific discoveries, aid in that battle. By its very function, a cancer center is a stressful place. It is also high tech place. Some patients may be comforted by technology, but others are frightened by that same technology. For an architect, designing such a place is a balancing act.

Patients and family members are going through one of the most stressful times of their lives. Even for physicians and caregivers, this is a tension filled workplace. Just as the Hippocratic Oath states to do no harm, the building should not add to the patients stress level. Experientially, the building should do all it can to have a calming influence. What are some ways as an architect, we can help reduce anxiety?

  1. Provide clear circulation patterns so that a patient knows where they are going and where they have been. This can be especially difficult if the facility is located within an existing building that has changed over time and has circulation patterns that are circuitous and maze-like. Provide queues to where a patient is within the facility but providing views to the outside as much as possible. If you can’t look out windows, provide other queues such as clerestory, skylights, or use colors or floor patterns. Provide views back to waiting areas or entrance points.

    Lobby Looking Toward Reception

  2. Address all the senses
    • Acoustics – reduce unwanted noise, consider acoustics as it relates to patient privacy, provide soothing music, etc.
    • Lighting – provide non-glare producing fixtures, soft light, and warm colors – only use light sources that have a high color rendering index (CRI). Consider using full spectrum LED lighting in treatment areas to provide a calming effect.
    • Natural daylight that is shielded and non-direct is the best light
    • Use harmonious color schemes
    • Provide good temperature and humidity comfort
    • Use comfortable surfaces, fabrics, furnishings, etc.
    • Provide places to get a snack, a drink, or even a meal
    • Provide fresh air flowing in a way that removes odors as patients are especially sensitive during treatment
  3. Meditation Room, Quiet Room or Chapel
    • People are different in the way they handle stress and grieving so provide a variety of quiet spaces where people can be alone or with others, outside or inside, introspective or as a part of a formal service or a class
    • Any chapel space should be non-denominational
    • Make this space flexible so it can be used for a variety of uses
  4. Provide Patient & Family Resource Areas
    • Provide printed materials, computer & network access, places to read, places for classes and small consultation areas
    • Again a variety of types of spaces is most useful
  5. Make the treatment areas very functional. Study patient flow, treatment times and numbers of patients seen daily and make the build flow in a way that keeps treatments smooth, efficient and calm. One way this might be accomplished is by providing a separate circulation area for physicians, nurses, and staff, so that they can easily flow in and out of treatment & consultation areas without distractions between patients.

As with any project, an architect has to do their best to empathize with all the buildings users. The more we can do this, the more successful our projects will be.

Medical Education Center in Lumberton: Partnership between Southeastern Health & Campbell University

Here are some new photos of Southeastern Health's newly-renovated, 10,000 sf space for Medical Education.  Located on the 4th floor of the administrative wing in the medical center, the space is the education hub for Southeastern Health. Offering student lockers, a 100-seat classroom, a small classroom, an electronic medical library, a resident/student lounge and meeting room, as well as administrative offices for the Medical Education department. This space is being used in a partnership between Southeastern Health and Campbell University.  Click HERE and HERE to learn more. The education wing was made possible through grants from The Duke Endowment, The Golden LEAF Foundation, North Carolina Department of Commerce, and The Cannon Foundation.

Southeastern Health Short Term Rehab Ribbon Cutting

Southeastern Health's new short term rehab facility is now seeing patients.  The ribbon cutting on May 9th celebrated the completion of the new facility which include 9,800 sf of new construction and over 6,000 sf of renovation.  Patients can now complete their healing process in an environment that is more like a luxury hotel than a hospital.  The facility features private rooms, nurses station, and a community room.  Many thanks to Cape Fear Construction for a job well done.