Obagi Skin Health Institute
The Obagi Skin Health Institute in Laguna Beach, California is a boutique medical, retail and educational facility for ZO Skin Health. The founder of the company, Dr. Zein Obagi, is a board certified practicing dermatologist in Beverly Hills, California, and an author and educator that has presented more than 200 skin health lectures throughout the world. For more than 35 years Dr. Obagi has defined and continues to advance skincare to include the concept of creating and maintaining healthy skin as opposed to just treating disease and damaged skin. Dr. Obagi's principal requirement was that the building reflect his life-long passion for helping people live with healthy skin. He also wanted this building to be of our time, to be inclusive of the science and technology available to us, rather than adapt a nostalgic approach architectural style. Additionally, given the limited space available on the site, the interior and exterior spaces would need to be flexible to accommodate a variety of needs and services, including medical, educational and retail. The forms and material of the building were informed by Dr. Obagi's desire for the building to be a metaphor of what goes on within. Two principal walls of silver travertine organize the interior and exterior spaces while also reflecting the subtle, corporeal contours of the skin. Natural light enters the interior spaces through continuous fissures where these walls meet the ceiling planes. The continuous dance of light and shadow on the stone walls create what Le Corbusier once described as the " correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light. The choice of materials reflect an interest in both sustainability and timelessness. The unfilled silver travertine walls, while given a decidedly modern expression in this project, also are associated with classical architecture going back to the Romans, reflecting a timeless interest in health and beauty. The wood planks are composed of a sustainable and maintenance free composition of wood-based fibers and thermosetting resins. The soft, warm tactile quality of the wood planks create a sensuous juxtaposition to the stone. Smooth, integrally colored stucco walls are the more neutral, connective tissue between the stone and wood plank walls. A central feature in the entry sequence is a green, living wall wall which morphs into a beguiling face. The green wall reflects Dr. Obagi's passionate interest in health and beauty, as well as the ardent hills that surround the facility.