Zucker Hillside Hospital is a psychiatric facility known for its groundbreaking work in the diagnosis, treatment and research of mental illness. In 2013, the hospital opened the doors to its new 115-bed building, designed to replace the old, out-dated facility and create an adaptable, efficient and compassionate care environment.
Flexible Space for Individual Care
The dynamic 140,000ft2 facility incorporates latest best practice in healthcare design, resulting in a flexible space that can adapt to the needs of its individual patients, including sufferers of Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. In line with research suggesting shared bedrooms benefit some patients and not others, all rooms are able to flex from private to semi-private, while the original 24-bed patient clusters have been compressed into six 18-bed units. Separate wings, built around a central courtyard, are provided for the three distinct groups the hospital serves: adults, adolescents and geropsychiatric patients. Meanwhile, an innovative three-corridor system physically separates patients, staff and visitors into different circulation spaces.
Engineering Zucker Hillside Hospital
Our team provided a range of engineering design services for the project’s building systems, including infrastructure to support full wireless connectivity and features such as bedside patient registration. The centre also houses spacious family areas with refreshment facilities, indoor and outdoor recreation space, classrooms for school-aged children, quiet spaces and a games room, plus geropsychiatry units fitted with walking tracks and designed to minimize the risk of falls. Tactile materials, coloured lights, mirrors and interactive floors are also used in parts of the facility to engage the senses of patients with severe mental illness.
A Soothing Setting
The facility, designed by Array Architects, successfully combines a residential atmosphere with appropriate security measures to meet the overarching goal of a welcoming but safe environment. Landscaped gardens, natural light and therapeutic colours help to create a soothing setting that respects patient dignity and fosters a sense of community. Meanwhile, all aspects of the design keep patient safety in mind. Floor-to-ceiling windows, for example, are built to withstand the impact of heavy objects such as items of furniture, allowing residents to connect with the landscape outside in a secure environment.