The need for a continuum of comprehensive behavioral health services for children is unmet across the United Stated. CHKD in Norfolk, Virginia decided to answer that clarion call with a new mental health service line, creating a 14-story behavioral health pavilion that opened in July 2022. The project mandate, to provide a family-centered model in a safe and normative environment, will change the face of mental healthcare.
The team’s design prioritized reducing patient harm and eliminating patient restraints as a guiding tenet. The design challenge was to design with empathy, but also to build upon that foundation to create a design that allows patients to prosper. Where healthcare was once focused on designing facilities for care through the lens of sympathy, the next evolution of behavioral health care will move beyond the episodic nature of treatment to acknowledge that most behavioral health conditions are not short-term events.
The project team developed a program to provide the full spectrum of mental health services. Inpatient, outpatient and partial hospitalization bridging services were located in the gleaming tower overlooking coastal Norfolk. Woven into the fabric of that program were design elements primed to destigmatize mental healthcare, including an exterior design that celebrates the rich naval history of the area, a global art program featuring work from renowned artists and craftspeople, and a family-centered environment for their inclusion in care.
Healthcare Building Solutions
O’Donnell & Naccarato
Smith Seckman & Reid
TLC / PACE Engineering