Building Sanctuary | Rebuilding Lives was the goal of the owner and design team for this new construction 48 bed addition to existing psychiatric hospital that was completed and occupied in late 2018.
The facility includes three 16 bed inpatient units. Two are for adults, and one is for adolescents. The facility is planned for the future addition of an additional 16 bed units and includes some full food service preparation and other central services for the entire campus. There is a strong emphasis on natural light in all patient areas and attention paid to the color of artificial lighting and circadian rhythms of both patients and staff. Common spaces on the units are generous and designed to allow passive observation by staff without making patients feel like they are constantly being watched. Shared activity spaces are available in this building, but off the units and all patient areas have direct access to exterior courtyards which are individually designed to accommodate various types of activities and interactions.
Brought to Tears: On Patient Move-In Day, a male patient moving from the old hospital into the new one stopped, began looking at the new space, and started to cry. The nurse with him asked him why and he told her it was because he was so shocked at what a beautiful place we had built for him and others like him who need hospitalization and psychiatric help; that he didn’t think anyone really cared about people who need help and he was grateful for what we had done. Recovering his composure, he expressed the desire to get well so he could work for us one day.
BHFC Design provided consulting services from the early programming phase through the Construction Document phase to assist the owner and design team with addressing the vital patient and staff safety issues inherent in this type of project.
At the same time, a great deal of attention was paid to creating an environment that is non-threatening, comfortable and relaxing for both patients and staff to support the patients’ recovery process.
Project Statistics & Relevance
year of completion
New construction inpatient adolescent 16 bed unit that provides state-of-the-art environment for interaction of patients and staff to help facilitate patient recovery.
Executive Vice President of West Springs Hospital and Transitions Crisis Stabilization Unit
Architect of Record:
Paul Brokering Photography