Designing a mental health facility requires special considerations to protect the safety and dignity of patients in a fragile psychiatric state, and ensure the security of staff. Previously, designs restricted freedom and created institutional atmospheres focused on safety, further stigmatizing patients. Today, we recognize that providing both safety and dignity are not only possible, but beneficial to the healing process.
Connection to Nature
Natural light and the ability to view exterior environments has been shown to advance healing and recovery. Clerestory windows of shatterproof glass admit light and access to nature, but shield patients from passersby, with embedded shades for each patient’s control of their environment. Natural light is welcomed deeper into adjoining rooms via glazed openings.
Making a space feel less institutional reduces anxiety and contributes to a comfortable, homelike impression. Thoughtful color and material choices including soft palettes of earthy beiges, blues, and greens and natural materials such as wood generate a calming, soothing effect. Soft … Read More