The new Virginia Treatment Center for Children, part of the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, is one of the largest free-standing children’s mental health centers in the United States. The child-specific center uses design elements to both destigmatize behavioral and mental healthcare and support healing.
The facility was designed for both inpatient and outpatient care. There are 32 inpatient beds with the ability to expand to 48 beds to support expected volume. Each inpatient unit is self-contained and includes 16 beds; an activity zone with treatment, therapy, and recreational areas; a clinician zone; and direct access to secure courtyard and enclosed backyard outdoor activity areas.
The outpatient clinic includes group rooms, 20 consultation rooms, and integrated research space. The one-story in-patient building connects to the two-story outpatient and administrative building via a central “main street” spine. In addition to the outpatient clinic, the two-story building also includes patient reception, security, educational rooms, therapy spaces, a half-court gym, and a faith center.
Floor to ceiling windows allow as much natural light as possible in and the color palette is warm and bright. A therapy mall includes occupational, recreational, art, music, and play therapy. The nurses station can control music that is piped throughout the facility.
The major circulation systems run adjacent to outdoor landscaping and patient areas include large windows overlooking private garden space.The exterior of the building breaks away from a traditional “institutional” style and instead opts for terraced and undulating curved forms.