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Building on a Legacy

July 1, 2008
by Shandi Matambanadzo, Associate Editor
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Bradley Hospital embarks on a renovation and new construction project to meet modern care demands

In 1931 the Emma Pendleton Bradley Home in Providence, Rhode Island, opened as the nation's first neuropsychiatric facility specifically devoted to children and adolescents. More than 75 years later, Bradley Hospital (as it is now known) has begun a $20 million, three-phase revitalization project. The largest component is a two-story, 52,000-square-foot addition with 60 private inpatient rooms, scheduled to be completed next July.

Designed by The S/L/A/M Collaborative and its associate firm Architecture +, the state-of-the-art addition aims to create a comforting and relaxing environment. The inpatient block will include the 15-bed Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, a 15–bed children's unit, and 30 beds divided between two units for adolescents. The rooms will be clustered in “pods” to ensure privacy for patients and families while allowing staff to closely monitor the patients and be readily available.

The units will be organized around four “great rooms,” each designed to accommodate 15 children and their families. The building will be organized around a courtyard/healing garden, creating an outdoor space without using fencing. These and other details aim to create a thoroughly safe and secure building. “And yet when it's all done, the intent is to create an environment that while it has all this attention to detail, still looks very residential and not be an institutional environment,” says Steve Ansel, AIA, ACHA, a principal of The S/L/A/M Collaborative.

“This experience is not just about constructing a building,” says Denis Beique, the project executive for Gilbane Building, Inc. “It is about creating a special place for the development of these children.”

Phase two involves renovating the Georgian-Revival style main building. “The 78-year-old building was designed as a long-term residential facility that can no longer meet the needs of a short-term, highly acute inpatient program with decreasing lengths of stay,” explains Daniel J. Wall, Bradley Hospital's president and CEO. The renovated building will house expanded outpatient and research programs as well as “SafeQuest,” which provides after-school care for children and teens with mood or anxiety disorders at risk for self-harm.

Construction workers frame the north wall of the future courtyard

Construction workers frame the north wall of the future courtyard. Photographer: Stephen Souls

Renderings illustrate the renovation of the existing building (three-story structure) and the bradley hospital addition (two-story structure). the s/l/a/m collaborative

Renderings illustrate the renovation of the existing building (three-story structure) and the Bradley Hospital addition (two-story structure). The S/L/A/M Collaborative

The four-bed Swan House will be renovated in the project's final phase to accommodate the Children's Residential and Family Treatment (CRAFT) program for kids ages 4 to 12 who do not need inpatient care but are unable to live with their families. These children will have a yard to play in and extra space to do their homework and visit with their families.

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For more construction photos of the Bradley Hospital addition, visit Behavioral Healthcare 2008;28(7):29.