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Spring Harbor Hospital

November 1, 2004
by root
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Westbrook, Maine

Spring Harbor Hospital, an 85,000-square-foot psychiatric facility, is for people of all ages who experience serious episodes of mental illness or a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance abuse. Located near Portland, the building allows for a full 100-bed replacement, doubling the number of private patient rooms, increasing room sizes, and providing additional recreation and consultation space.

Using a modern design, yet following the footprints of a New England farmhouse, the hospital features a light, natural theme, with cathedral ceilings and large windows. The interior décor is complementary to the surrounding Maine scenery, providing patients and staff alike with comfortable healing and working environments. The concept of “allowing the outdoors in” is accomplished through the use of ample windows and the inclusion of design elements drawn from the natural beauty of Maine’s landscape. On each care unit, artwork reflecting the Maine coast, mountains, and woods helps to instill a sense of nature’s ability to renew itself.

“These are symbols of what we are here to do,” Dennis King, CEO of the hospital, notes. He adds, “we are a refuge, a place of healing that helps provide direction, a safe place in which our patients can renew their mental health.”

The design team worked to accommodate the requests of patients and staff and was sensitive to the population the facility serves. For example, there was a need for buttons rather than handles on toilets (a patient could possibly hang him/herself from a handle). The design team also worked closely with the city fire marshals to ensure that automatic systems were sensitive to the needs of the staff and patients in emergency situations.

For more information, contact Jill M. Boardman, Principal at Morris-Switzer~Environments for Health, at (802) 878-8841 or jboardman@morrisswitzer.com.

Photography: © Brian Vanden Brink Photography