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Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital (in collaboration with architecture +)

Berlin, Vermont

2015 International Academy of Design and Health | Interior Design Project: Overall Winner
2015 International Academy of Design and Health | Mental Health Project: One of Three Winners (in this category)
2014 Institutional Merit Award | Eastern New York AIA Design Awards
A new 25 bed acute psychiatric care hospital designed by Black River Design Architects with partner architect a+.  The design arranges activity rooms and patient rooms around two landscaped courtyards that allow generous daylight and views in addition to active outdoor amenities.  The new facility provides a serene and safe setting for healing.  The architectural expression of the new hospital is based on a formula from traditional Vermont architecture: a brick “front house”, facing the street, with a wood sided “back house”.  The front house contains the more public and administrative functions while the inpatient wings are in the back house, and feel more domestic and private. The richness of the new hospital is its interior life and its connection to nature.  The plan focuses around two enclosed courtyards that function as town greens for patients and staff.  The ambulatory courtyard is located within the brick front house.  Similar to a monastery design, the courtyard is encircled by a glazed corridor, or “cloister”, to allow year round contemplation of the free standing gazebo, maze and garden activities within.  The second courtyard, located in the inpatient wings, contains an extensive lawn and provides patients with opportunity for exercise and physical activity; including a basketball court and a walking/running loop.  Both courtyards provide varied and calming exterior environments, with naturalistic landscaping, for looking at and being active in.


Project Team

Design Architect: Architecture+

Landscape Designer: Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture

Civil Engineer: Grenier Engineering

Structural, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineer: SMRT

General Contractor: Engelberth Construction

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