University of Arizona Medical Center

Behavioral Health Pavilion and Crisis Response Center

Tucson, AZ

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With the objective of creating a normalized healing environment while serving multiple facets of behavioral medicine, the University of Arizona’s one-of-a-kind mental health center is changing the practice of behavioral healthcare. Harmonizing with the climate and raw beauty of the Sonoran desert, the design balances the challenges of a complex interdisciplinary program, unique environmental conditions, and a lean construction budget. A full continuum of care is provided with acute and sub-acute inpatient services, outpatient services, crisis assessment and stabilization, and specialized facilities for law enforcement, paramedics and other first responders. Additionally, a courtroom serves patients entering hospitalization through the legal system.

Comprised of a secure 96-bed psychiatric hospital with an integral county courtroom, and a Crisis Response Center with a 24-hour call center, the facility is organized around a shared sallyport which provides a secure circulation zone for medical staff, law enforcement, courtroom personnel, and patient transfers. A parti of parallel “bars” of patient and support spaces, with dedicated staff, patient, and visitor circulation systems, are oriented along an east/west axis for optimal sun control.

“This thoughtfully planned facility is based on best practices for security, sight lines, and required adjacencies, with finishes more reminiscent of a modern hospital, than that of a correctional facility. Thoughtfully oriented, the building promotes healing and rehabilitation, while maintaining a secure environment. An essential amenity, the crisis unit is well suited for today’s world—establishing this building as an innovative model that requires collaboration among multiple stakeholders. Most importantly, the project fosters the evolving concept that medical and mental health issues are not separate issues—encouraging our society to recognize these type of facilities are necessary to diagnose patients accurately.” AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice, Award of Excellence
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With the objective of creating a normalized healing environment while serving multiple facets of behavioral medicine, the University of Arizona’s one-of-a-kind mental health center is changing the practice of behavioral healthcare. Harmonizing with the climate and raw beauty of the Sonoran desert, the design balances the challenges of a complex interdisciplinary program, unique environmental conditions, and a lean construction budget. A full continuum of care is provided with acute and sub-acute inpatient services, outpatient services, crisis assessment and stabilization, and specialized facilities for law enforcement, paramedics and other first responders.

Composed of two interrelated buildings operating symbiotically to respond to the broadest range of patient needs, the facility integrates physically and operationally with an existing acute care hospital and emergency department. The solution features a parti of parallel “bars” of patient and support spaces and circulation systems oriented along an east/west axis for optimal sun control. Special attention has been given to patient safety, privacy and dignity. All patients have private rooms with access to views and daylight—with independent access points allowing for segregated movement of patients and staff onto units greatly enhancing safety. Access to shaded outdoor gardens is provided on all levels for patients, visitors and staff promoting healing and well-being.

Distinctions

  • Award of Excellence

    AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice

  • Award of Merit

    Society of American Registered Architects

  • Best Metal Building/Low Rise

    Metal Construction News

  • Best of Healthcare

    ENR Southwest

  • Citation of Merit

    Behavioral Healthcare

  • Honorable Mention Award

    Industrial Perforators Association

  • Notable Project, Unbuilt

    Modern Healthcare

Credits

  • CDG Group, Architects & Planners, P.C.

  • Timothy Hursley Photography

Publications

  • FORM

    Behavioral Health Pavilion and Crisis Response Center

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  • Visual Reference Publications, Inc.

    Healthcare Spaces No. 6

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  • Justice Facilities Review

    University of Arizona Medical Center, Behavioral Health Pavilion and Crisis Response Center

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  • Metal Construction News

    Medicinal Metal Marvel

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  • ENR Southwest

    Best Health Care: U of A Facility Treats Mental Health Patients with Dignity

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  • Correctional News

    Crucial Design for Safety and Efficiency in Arizona: U. AZ Medical Center

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  • Behavioral Healthcare

    Pima County Hospital, Behavioral Health Pavilion and Crisis Response Center

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  • Behavioral Healthcare

    A new plan for patients in crisis

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