Health Pavilion by Cannon Design

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Project: Pima County Behavioral Health Pavilion + Crisis Response Center
Location: Tucson, Arizona 
Design Architects: Cannon Design (San Francisco, CA) 
Design Leader: Carl Hampson
Pima County’s new one-of-a-kind mental health center is destined to change the practice of behavioral healthcare. Harmonizing with the climate and raw beauty of the Sonora Desert, the design balances the challenges of a complex interdisciplinary program, unique environmental conditions, and a lean construction budget. 

The concept was to create a holistic healing campus that would serve multiple facets of behavioral medicine. More images and info under the cut:



The facility is composed of two functionally interrelated buildings that respond to the broadest range of patient needs. The solution features a parti of parallel “bars” of patient and support spaces and circulation systems . The two buildings are organized around a shared service court that provides a secure circulation zone for medical staff, law enforcement, courtroom personnel, and patient and material transfers. Each building is organized around a variety of accessible exterior spaces that connect patients and staff directly to nature. 

Special attention has been given to patient safety, privacy, security and dignity. All patients have private rooms with access to views and daylight. Independent access points allow for segregated movement of patients and staff enhancing safety. Access to shaded outdoor gardens is provided on all levels for patients, visitors and staff. 

The south façade of Behavioral Health Pavilion features a dramatic carved-out multi-level terrace. Evoking ancient southwestern cliff architecture, this sky garden is protected from the sun above and allows distant vistas for staff and visitors. The Crisis Recovery Center features a central court yard that provides an internal oasis for visitors and staff, while providing a spatial buffer between the adul* and youth assessment and treatment areas.

The buildings share a distinct architectural vocabulary that relates to the often harsh, but equally inspiring Southern Arizona landscape. Earth-toned concrete block combined with warm metallic panels and screens create a palette sympathetic to the existing campus and its environment, and sensitive to cost, durability, and performance. 



Optimum building orientation, indigenous landscaping, locally produced building materials with high recycling content, and careful glazing strategies bolster the concept of creating a holistic healing environment. The South-facing corrugated perforated aluminum sunscreen allows filtered views while reducing peak energy loads by up to thirty percent. The innovative use of standard off-the-shelf building products creates a unique environment enhancing performance and patient experience, while keeping construction costs in line with the client’s modest budget.
Construction is slated for August 2009.
*Courtesy of Cannon Design