As the state’s largest-ever capital project, the Oregon State Hospital replacement program included design and construction of two hospitals to house all the psychiatric beds in Oregon. The design for each hospital supports healing, recovery and a return to successful community living. The team involved various stakeholders, including mental health advocacy groups, historic preservationists, neighborhood associations and concerned citizens, in the design process.
In Salem, the restoration and expansion of the hospital transforms the original 1883 facility, one of the West Coast’s oldest continuously operating mental healthcare hospitals (and the hospital where One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was filmed), into a modern, efficient and humane campus.
Though the original facility emphasized natural light and air circulation in a pastoral setting, it had become outdated and inefficient. Most of the dilapidated main building was torn down. The renovation of the original Kirkbride building, which serves as the campus front door, included restoring and repainting the brick facade, refurbishing and replicating windows, upgrading it to seismic standards, replacing the metal roof and restoring the historic cupola.
The design for the updated hospital allows for a new treatment model based on immersing patients in a central area with training and rehabilitative activities. Residential “house” areas are kept separate to allow patients to fully engage in treatment. The new buildings have an interior circulation spine connecting the “downtown” treatment areas with new “neighborhood” malls that provide recreational and meal areas. The plan arranges the buildings to form 22 outdoor courtyards where patients can enjoy nature and serenity.
Set among agricultural pastures on greenfield land, the new Oregon State Hospital in Junction City aims to create an uplifting and healing environment for patients and staff.
The facility includes 174 beds plus space for treatment, administration, support services and outdoor recreation. Two internal courtyards give patients and staff access to natural daylight and outdoor views, enhancing the healing environment, reducing the need for artificial lighting and creating wayfinding landmarks.
A layered approach in the exterior and interior design embraces the local landscape and the restorative power of nature by providing visual connections to the outdoors. The lobby incorporates hues and materials of nature: a deep red wall color, muted ceramic tile floors and delicate wood slat panels along the walls for warmth and acoustic mitigation. A local artist created a glass-etched entry window filled with inspirational poems, statements and memories gathered through a series of patient workshops.
HOK partnered with Portland-based SRG on the design of both hospitals.