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Kayenta Health Center



Highway 163 # Ka2010



Indian Health Service

Project Status


Year Completed



182,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost

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Project Description

Located on the Navajo Nation in a remote and visually compelling area in northeastern Arizona, this facility is designed to replace the existing Health Center. A small hospital programmatically, the center offers an array of services including a 13-bed inpatient nursing unit, ambulatory surgery, and ancillary services including, laboratory, pharmacy, radiology, and emergency department. Outpatient services include primary care, pediatrics, mental health, dental, eye, physical therapy, and community health and wellness.

The health center design is a response to its site, the space and functional program, and the unique Navajo concepts of place, health, and wellness. With strong beliefs in the sacredness of place, the site and facility are zoned to respect the special character of each cardinal direction. For instance, the main entrance facing east is flanked by wings housing the community health and wellness programs and administrative functions. These wings metaphorically represent welcoming arms to patients and visitors. Other program components are arrayed westward from the entrance beginning with the clinic wing and inpatient wings and terminating at the far west with the service functions. A traditional healing or meditation space is aligned with the cardinal directions to provide a protected space for patients and families to incorporate traditional holistic medicine in their treatment and care.

Key design goals include flexibility for growth and change, spatial efficiency, appropriate functional separation or adjacency, and patient convenience. Evidenced Based Principles include a healthful, positive working environment with day light and views, air quality, acoustical performance, patient privacy, safety, and security, and ease of way finding. The outpatient clinics are organized in a pod concept. The image provides a strong sense of place, visually integrated with the powerful landscape that engenders a sense of well being.

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