Inland Northwest Behavioral Health Hospital, USA

Inland Northwest Behavioral Health Hospital, USA

X Marks the Spot

The Inland Northwest Behavioral Health Hospital represents a community investment into the growing need for behavioral health treatment. Through a holistic approach to design, the facility overcomes the stigma of mental health, and provides a safe, reassuring place where people can heal with dignity.

The X-shaped building stands on sloping terrain, which is balanced by a base. The outer shell of the house appears cautiously gray, in complete contrast to the inward-facing facades, which are formulated in striking color combinations.

This project is featured in the Swisspearl Architecture #29. Subscribe to our magazine to get the printed issue.

© Rick Keating, Gates, USA

Universal Health Services, Fairfax Behavioral Health and Providence Health Services collaborated on this new 100-bed psychiatric hospital, the first freestanding mental health hospital in Spokane, Washington State. It is located near the Sacred Heart Medical Campus, allowing for shared staffing and efficient patient flow between facilities. However, the urban location presented challenges, including a compact site, topographic limitations in a sloping terrain, and an adjacent elevated freeway.

© Rick Keating, Gates, USA
© Rick Keating, Gates, USA

Leveraging Lean Design and Planning methodology, the design team, contractor, consultants, and trade partners undertook a unique integrated project delivery. The result is a highly optimized, triple-story facility that efficiently organizes circulation, zones, and resources. The innovative, x-shaped plan separates patients and staff support spaces into four distinct wings for security and operational efficiency. Public and service spaces are consolidated on the first floor. In-patient sleeping areas are located on the southern side, insulating patients from freeway noise. Metal ribbed panels on the second and third levels facing outwards provide pattern and texture. Two secure courtyards, clad in colorful Swisspearl panels in green/blue/white, and red/orange/white create inviting spaces where patients enjoy time outdoors. In contrast to the vibrant inner facades facing the courtyards, the short elevations are clad in large-format gray Swisspearl panels that create a neutral background to the planes of striped color. The upper two levels rest on the ground floor level, which reads like a plinth clad in roughly textured stone tiles. The facade weathers well over time, is low in maintenance, and visually attractive.

© Rick Keating, Gates, USA

The interior color palette reflects the seasons. The lowest level features the colors of winter, whereas the upper levels reflect spring and autumn respectively. Art reinforces these themes, evoking the healing qualities of nature and respecting the needs of patients.


Inland Northwest Behavioral Health Hospital

Spokane, USA

NAC Architecture, Spokane, WA, USA

Rick Keating, Gates, USA

Element Architectural Products Northwest Inc. Wilsonville, OR, USA

Building period
2018 – 2019

PDF project sheet

Facade material
Swisspearl Largo Carat Crystal 7010, Black Opal 7021, Coral 7031, Azurite 7043, Jade 7050, Topaz 7073, Onyx 7091

Read more – Swisspearl Architecture magazine
Find more stories in our  Swisspearl Architecture #29. Subscribe to our magazine to get the printed issue.

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