PhilaU Architecture Students Exhibit Plans for Patch Adams Medical Clinic

Patch Adams Free Clinic designs by architecture students Melanie Whedon, Kenneth Roposh and Michael Rothman.

Last year, 44 PhilaU fourth-year architecture students designed plans for a health clinic in an impoverished area of North Philadelphia that would also serve as a five-acre community center site offering child and elderly care, a library, farmer’s market, job training, exercise, counseling and other services.

The proposed Patch Adams Free Clinic is named for and endorsed by the doctor whose Gesundheit! Institute was made famous in the 1998 film “Patch Adams” starring Robin Williams. And this week, Hunter “Patch” Adams is in Philadelphia to talk about the plans and to help raise awareness of and funds to build the medical and community services complex, the first free clinic in his name beyond the one in West Virginia depicted in the film.

The PhilaU student work will be exhibited at Adams’ two public talks and a community meeting in the Tioga section of Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 23, and Wednesday, July 24. Faculty and students will have an opportunity to talk to Adams about their proposals for the medical clinic and how they meet the needs of the community.

The architecture students were aided in their design process by graduate students in sustainable design and occupational therapy. Architecture faculty David Kratzer, Daniel Chung and Brian Johnston taught the Design 8 classes that worked on plans for the passive solar, energy-efficient community health clinic for the planned site at 17th and Allegheny streets.

Patch Adams Free Clinic design by architecture students Natasha Trice, Sean Tichy and Marika Mavroleon.

For the project, the architecture students explored the nature of the clinic, the community, the site and sustainable technologies, and came up with 18 design solutions for different locations for the site. “All groups strove to find a balance between building, site, program and sustainable technologies with adequate room for future expansion, agriculture and community use of the clinic,” Kratzer said.

Patch Adams will speak Tuesday, July 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Drexel University College of Medicine, Geary Auditorium B, 245 N. 15th Street, and on Wednesday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Mercy Neighborhood Ministries at 29th and Venango streets. The talks are free and open to the public.

The students previously have presented their work during interactive workshops with the Tioga United community association as well as a public Design Philadelphia event.

For more information on Adams’ visit and plans for the Philadelphia clinic, go to

Read the July 22 Philadelphia Inquirer story about the proposed Patch Adams Free Clinic here.

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