With the goal of creating a space that serves as the conduit for a holistic, therapeutic environment for staff and patients, Mahlum designed the renovation of the second floor of the original 1956 hospital building to accommodate the Mental Healthcare Unit (MHU). The new 15-bed MHU will include private rooms, seclusion rooms, quiet and noisy activity area, group therapy rooms, staff areas and support areas.
The design concept focuses on the power of interaction, allows for therapy at multiple scales and sights, and provides a sense of community. For example, a porch with a bench outside of the patient rooms encourages interaction between patients and staff. The nurse station is positioned to provide maximum visibility for patient and staff safety. The dining and activity area are opened to the corridor with the nurse station integrated into the space. Materials selection reinforce the feeling of a warm and welcoming home environment.