Adult Openspace
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From a design standpoint, the colors for this reinvented facility are strategically picked for their softness and muted appearance to create warmth, tranquility, and all to oppose what was previously designed.  Blue ensures security, green creates harmony, and yellow in the pediatric wing to bring about optimism.  Sherwin Williams colors and products, Paint Shield Micro be cidal Paint, kills greater than 99.9% of Staph, MRSA, E coli, CRE, and enterobacter aerogenes within two hours of exposure on painted surfaces. 

Mindful Mental Health Care Urgent Center // 2020 

Samaritan Center

Detroit, Michigan

Sq. Ft.: 10,508

Category: Healthcare

Awards: Exceptional Student,

This healthcare center is located within the Samaritan Center, located in District 4 of Detroit. Currently, 98,000 people reside in that district.  While the community has little diversity compared to other districts of Detroit (largely African American), district 4 is involved in youth sports, flourished by small businesses, 2 dozen schools, and a strongly faith-based community with 85 churches.  Unfortunately, the issues that run within district 4 includes crime and blight.  Through the reinvention of what mental health facilities are, Mindful Mental Health Urgent Care Center is just another forward example for future spaces to curate and provide a better place for taking care of those who need support, after all mental health is part of our well-being.  CLICK to view the schematic design, CLICK to view the program document, CLICK to view the construction documents, and CLICK to view the final presentation.

This proposal has many architectural changes including vast ceiling heights that strongly differ from the original floor plan and the implementation of lights wells and transom windows to bring in as much daylight as possible.  The opportunity for views out of any window is used to its advantage.  So, lighting was another important element to focus on.  The artificial lighting in the open spaces for pediatric and adults use circadian rhythm lighting and within each space of heavy traffic includes ceiling mounted UV lighting to disinfect the different spaces.  CLICK to view the FF&E boards.

Furniture Plan

The floor plan is rooted in efficiency for all three groups of users.  Through evidence-based practice, there is strong emphasize about path of travel for the primary care experts, the social worker(s), the variety of nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, adult patients vs. pediatric patients, and the families.  The goal is to limit the different paths to cross while encouraging a line in the sand of private vs. public spaces.  The sensory room for the children is a tighter knit space to ensure a feeling of security.  For those that need to calm down, those that need separation, etc.  Integrated is a color changing water wall feature and sound equipment ran by an app that the patient can choose from along with dimmable and interchanging color/lighting for customization to fit the patients needs.  The soiled room was specifically placed here so that the service providers who will come and grab the laundry can easily access that without having to wind through the different hallways - again, efficiency. 

Waiting Room Sketch

Here we see what is envisioned for the waiting room. But again, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere that families will be able to stay in for perhaps an hour, maybe 3 hours, and so on. 

Waiting Room

Here we see a visualization of the pediatric open space that has those soft muted colors of honey bee yellow, window seating for views, water tubes for distraction, and a large touch sensitive screen that has technological advancements with different settings for interaction of human and screen in a positive way.  The goal for this space is to promote play, exploration, and distraction as those are the things children and young adults require.

Pediatric Openspace
Rain Room Sketch1
Rain Room Plant Research
Plumbing Section/Detail Ideation

The rain room is an exploratory design that took some research and has not been seen in a facility before.  The process of how this idea came to be was quite simple.  From my own personal experience, when I was experiencing chronic adjustment disorder and along with that came a diagnosis of general anxiety, the thing that always worked for me were showers, closing my eyes, and letting my brain rest.  Focusing on the sound of the water, breathing, and the warmth from the humidity.  After some research, implementing a room like this will provide a lot of benefits.  The research shows people stating that rain as an antidote for their anxiety and depression was common.  According to Emily Mendez, MS, EdS, she states that, “our brain processes it as a calming, non-threatening noise.  Which is why there are so many relaxation and meditation videos that feature the sound of rain”.   

How it works basically, is when a patient enters, the solar shades can be electronically drawn down to make the space darker.  The built in simplistic curved bench allows for somebody to lay down, sit up, stand, sit on the floor.  The lights can be adjusted to any dimmable option as well.  Water that has been reserved from the above rooftop garden serves as a supplemental source of water that comes from the 4 different heads above the glass dome.  That same run off water supplies the plumbing water for the toilets throughout the facility.  There’s a control panel inside and another control panel on the outside with a view of the inside that a nurse supervises incase of an emergency.  The water is turned on with one of the three available settings of water pressure and the sound system can also be turned on for thunderstorm sound effects, waves, nature, etc.   

All of these functions are far from being arbitrary because another key factor from the research was the association of our sense of smell interacting with our memories.  There are small perforations down where the plants grow that allow for natural scent to permeate the room.  The rich smell of water, mulch, and life is purposeful to fully immerse oneself in the rain room.  To experience the rain room, CLICK on the video below (with volume on).

Rain Room Floor Plan Ideations
Rain Room Sensory Sketch
Rain Room