Designed for Recovery

Aug 29, 2012

Treatment of the mentally ill has come a long way from the dark, locked wards of asylums now shuttered and crumbling in several New England towns. We now know much more about the brain, psychopharmacology and the importance of community for people suffering with profound mental conditions. A new 300-million dollar recovery center and hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, was designed to provide an environment that balances safety and security while encouraging patient privacy and recovery. Frank Pitts is a principle at Architecture Plus, one of two firms that worked on the design the new center.  

Producers' note: One of the things we found most interesting about this story is the designer's necessary attention to details like finding doorknobs that were secure, prevented patient suicide by hanging, and yet had aesthetic appeal. Here's a photo of an example of one of the knobs.