In the 1930’s, the New Deal sought to produce 1,500 post offices cheaply, effectively, and quickly, so the federal government “adopted the perfectly justifiable expedient of designing [these] smaller buildings in groups conforming to certain types” (Federal Architect, July 1934). In this process, standard formal solutions provided a consistent expression of identity across the country’s postal facilities. Each building, however, with its choice of materials, organization of circulation, and ornamentation of the facade and public interiors, was also made to reflect a local identity.
Federal commissions have historically been preoccupied with delivering a consistent and fluid formal language. Modular and factory-produced construction methods dominate contemporary architectural practice, so how might federal commissions mobilize these methods? Under such circumstances, how would a reproductive health clinic be designed today? This project proposes a method for designing a network of buildings in which individual instances demonstrate a collectively coherent formal strategy, that is simultaneously sensitive to the specificities of the site. Similar to the post office in being sites of transactional interactions which are nationally in-demand, these clinics will help us evaluate the capacity for designing unique buildings that can span national geographies and sensibilities.