Newton's Notes

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    Erin Sharp Newton
    Jul 29, '20 7:01 PM EST

    "Departing from the institutionalized care of the past, architects are designing behavioral health hospitals, clinics, and specialized environments that better reflect the needs of patients and staff."


    A New Era Dawns in Behavioral Health Design

    Photographer: Joe Harrison, Firm: NK Architects

    Here comes the SUN

    One example of this highlighted by is SUN Behavioral Health’s inpatient/outpatient hospital in Erlanger, Kentucky.

    “The fantastic thing here is that it was a ground-up,” Newton says. Many projects in this field are upgrades or renovations, she notes, which limits an architect’s ability to start from scratch. Here, the team at NK could pursue their full agenda with the support of a committed and knowledgeable healthcare client.

    The hospital came in at just under 150,000 square feet with 197 beds. It’s entirely devoted to mental and behavioral health; SUN prides itself on being a community-oriented company, which means an emphasis on community spaces and on providing resources for everyone. They even have their own emergency room, where patients in need can be seen immediately.

    For this hospital, the NK team took advantage of the blank slate to design super deep, solid-surface nurse stations that simultaneously exude a feeling of openness with protection. They also incorporated visible lines around the stations to set perceivable boundaries that didn’t make the patients feel walled off.

    “Boundaries can be created subtly without having to be aggressive...” 

    Full article here:

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