A reception area near the yellow staircase in Family Tree clinic
Corey Gaffer

A Community Clinic Raises the Bar for Trauma-Informed Design

A community clinic offering sliding-scale reproductive healthcare to Twin Cities students since 1971, Family Tree is a haven for marginalized folk. Comprehensive services include STI testing and treatment, birth control, gender-affirming care, and even legal aid for queer and trans people. In 2022, the growing clinic relocated to a 17,000-square-foot new building in south Minneapolis by Perkins&Will.

A trauma-informed approach to design begins with space planning. Corridors draw sight lines to the exterior courtyard, rooted with native butterfly and pollinator-friendly plants, and translucent windows in exam rooms invite daylight while maintaining privacy. “All the entry and circulation paths are clear, simple, and inclusive,” Perkins&Will operations director Cara Prosser notes. The main waiting room showcases vivid murals by a local artist and offers varied seating options to suit patients’ diverse needs. Throughout, the team chose patterns and colors that would reduce visual distraction. Ultimately, Family Tree is a model for the future of healthcare, raising the bar to ensure patients are physically, mentally, and emotionally well.

Family Tree Clinic by Perkins&Will Features Pops of Color 

A waiting area for guests at Family Tree clinic
A bright yellow staircase in Family Tree clinic
Colorful chairs and a wall mural brighten up Family Tree clinic
A reception area near the yellow staircase in Family Tree clinic

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