The UTHealth Behavioral Sciences Center is slated to open near the Texas Medical Center in 2021.
Next year, the City of Houston will become the new home of the largest psychiatric facility in the United States of America. The UTHealth Behavioral Sciences Center has partnered with the Perkins and Will architecture firm to build a sustainable, 222,000-square-foot facility in 2021 to train healthcare specialists and service the community through mental healthcare as well as substance abuse and treatment. [Featured image via perkinswill.com]
Over the course of time, not to mention the current state of the nation, the importance of mental health becomes more and more paramount. As such, the UTHealth Behavioral Sciences Center has enlisted the Perkins and Will architecture firm to design a state-of-the-art “deinstitutionalized” mental health facility that provides an atmosphere of tranquility for patients and staff.
“The current mental health system can be difficult to navigate—particularly when moving between different levels of care—leading to an elevated rate of readmission for behavioral health patients,” Perkins and Will writes on their website. “Intended to help close the gap, the Continuum of Care Campus will include acute, subacute, and residential treatment programs designed to seamlessly move patients along the spectrum of wellness.”
“Knowing that behavioral and mental health is a critical aspect of one’s holistic well-being, our team was thoughtful in approaching each design decision through research and with the interest of promoting health,” said Principal and Managing Director of the Houston studio of Perkins and Will, Diana Davis.
The 222,000-square-foot facility will feature two adjacent buildings, connected via sky bridge, overlooking a scenic green space.
“We were very intentional about making sure that the key locations of therapy all had that direct communication to the outdoors and that ability to see out,” Davis said.
As far for the interior design, the center employs elements of color, light, and sound to evoke a comfortable ambiance, including prominent natural light and the use of adjustable warm lighting fixtures to evoke, particularly those who suffer from insomnia as well as room arrangement and the use of highly sound-absorbent materials to subdue noise.
UTHealth Behavioral Sciences Center will also include a “therapy mall”, that is, a shared treatment space that would allow patients, outgoing or otherwise, the opportunity to practice socializing. Patients can use this space as a fitness center, music space, boutique, and more.
One of my favorite features of the building is that the way it is designed is that the shared treatment spaces that are kind of the amenity spaces that serve multiple units are located on the ground floor and all wrap around one of the courtyards,” Davis said.
The center plans to open late next year.