VA Providence Medical Center wished to expand and consolidate its outpatient mental health services and create a user- and provider-friendly facility. WBRC was selected to design a new integrated Mental Health facility, created in distinct phases.
The first phase of the project began by exploring the best possible building site. Due to limited land availability, the selected location was a steeply sloped site on a corner of the historic campus. Complex steps were taken to secure the building to the slope, including rebuilding the hillside with geogrid stabilization, the use of driven piles, and a ground improvement system installed under the entire building.
Another challenge was designing the building to meet the VA’s stringent Physical Security and Resiliency Design Manual Requirements, while still appearing open and inviting. To accomplish this, the facility is broken into three overlapping volumes with contrasting facades. The design breaks up the mass of the building and provides an attractive exterior from all angles, including an adjacent residential neighborhood. The building’s “Y” shape leverages the available land area, maximizes interior daylight, and provides separate departmental wings. Façade materials were selected to harken back to the original 1948 brick hospital, while giving it a new modern identity, with a nod to the hues of the U.S. flag.
This new campus resource includes dedicated spaces for individual counseling, group therapy, and physical therapy, as well as an expandable meeting/training room, break room, conference areas, and staff offices. Key assets in the Phase One building including the secure entry, reception/registration, waiting areas, elevators, and restrooms, will be shared by the connected Phase Two building when it is completed.