A Place Built to Serve

A Place Built to Serve

What happens when a vacant office building is reimagined as a community center for the LGBTQ community? The Mazzoni Center – showcased here.

The Mazzoni Center was created by Philadelphia’s oldest and largest healthcare provider to serve the LGBTQ community.  Coscia Moos Architecture (Philadelphia) was engaged by developer Alterra Property Group (Philadephia) to transform a former two-story office building into Mazzoni Center’s new multipurpose headquarters.


The Mazzoni Center began in 1979 and was an all-volunteer clinic. Today, Mazzoni Center supports over 35,000 individuals a year with services encompassing the full spectrum of health and wellness. Mazzoni Center patients and clients benefit from primary healthcare, counseling and recovery, HIV prevention and care, psychosocial services, legal support, education, and outreach.

Design Goals

The shared design goal was to create an efficient, organized, and welcoming facility that would assemble all Mazzoni Center services under one roof as an LGBTQ community center. The complex mix of healthcare and social services – along with the administrative and executive staffs required to keep the mix running made for a programmatic challenge.

Welcoming Environment

Privacy, safety, and comfort became touchstones of the design. Attempts to minimize sound transmission between counseling rooms, replacing traditional-stall restrooms with gender-neutral individual restrooms, placing like services nearby for staff collaboration and coordination, and selecting colorful and comfortable furnishings contribute to a welcoming environment. The architecture emphasizes flexibility; for example, demountable partitions frame a counseling suite that can be reconfigured economically in the future.

Project team:
Owner and developer: Alterra Property Group
Owner’s representation: Savills Studley
Architecture and interior design: Coscia Moos Architecture
Structural engineering: Cooke Brown
MEP engineering: Urban Technology
Construction: How Properties


Kovacs Silvis, Jennifer. “PHOTO TOUR: Mazzoni Center | HCD Magazine.” HCD Magazine, 2017, https://www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com/projects/ambulatory-care-clinics/photo-tour-mazzoni-center/#slide-12.

Photo Credit:


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