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Alaska Psychiatric Institute: Anchorage.



The previous Alaska Psychiatric Institute in Anchorage Anchorage (ăng`kərĭj), city (1990 pop. 226,338), Anchorage census div., S central Alaska, a port at the head of Cook Inlet; inc. 1920.  had become obsolete, both in function and the ability to deliver up-to-date mental healthcare. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services social services
Noun, pl

welfare services provided by local authorities or a state agency for people with particular social needs

social services nplservicios mpl sociales 
 set out to create a new mental health facility that would improve the quality of care to better serve the community.

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Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc.'s winning submission included the following planning goals: safety, a non-institutional feel, maximized natural light, and freedom of movement within a controlled environment. The new Institute, completed in April 2005, already is being referred to as a "Center for Recovery" for its design approach, which embodies a therapeutic environment.

The Institute supports adolescents and adults, including volunteer and court-ordered admissions. This 120,000-square-foot, 72-bed replacement facility uses rich exterior colors such as red and yellow, complemented by calming neutral colors and woods for the interior palette. The interior took advantage of natural light and gives an open feeling that contradicts the normal aspects of a therapeutic facility.

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The building has four major components: entry, administration wing, gymnasium/therapy wing, and patient wings. All components are organized around a central "Main Street" spine. The Main Street concept provides clear, simple organization and movement throughout the facility. At the heart of the building is an enclosed en·close   also in·close
tr.v. en·closed, en·clos·ing, en·clos·es
1. To surround on all sides; close in.

2. To fence in so as to prevent common use: enclosed the pasture.
, sky-lit winter garden that is used as a gathering place to create a sense of community. The winter garden, coupled with a clerestory clerestory or clearstory (both: klĭr`stōr'ē, –stôr'ē), a part of a building whose walls rise higher than the roofs of adjoining parts of the structure.  along the length of Main Street, provides natural light for the center of the building.

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Title Annotation:FACILITY DESIGN SHOWCASE
Publication:Behavioral Healthcare
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Oct 1, 2006
Words:263
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