Gresham Smith-Designed Behavioral Health Unit Honored with AIA Jacksonville Award of Excellence

Building Aims to Destigmatize Mental Health Care Services Through Innovative Design

Gresham Smith is proud to announce that the firm’s design for Baptist Health Care’s new behavioral health unit, located at the 57-acre Brent Lane Campus that is under construction, has received an Award of Excellence from the Jacksonville chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The single-story, 72-bed facility will be used to care for patients with both mental health and sensory issues while they are transitioned to outpatient care services.

“With the prevalence of mental illness on the rise, the influence of the built environment on healthcare facilities has never been more important,” said Healthcare Studio Design Leader and Senior Architect Matthew Flores, AIA. “Through this design, we have created a warm and inviting experience that will support clinical staff, patients and day-to-day operations. I am thrilled that our Jacksonville studio has received this honor for their forward-thinking design strategies.”

The building employs an empathetic design to deinstitutionalize the look and feel of behavioral health care. The single-story facility reflects a residential scale and reduces anxiety in patients though its approachable entrance and elimination of elevator rides to each unit. In addition, a biophilic design, with several vignettes and outdoor spaces, allows each individualized patient population to have their own outdoor space.

The exterior of the building reflects Pensacola’s white sand dunes and historical downtown. A two-story volume roof holds mechanical systems, and is meant to be a poetic interpretation of the shelter provided by healthcare staff.

AIA Jacksonville’s annual Design Awards program honors work designed by chapter members and brings public attention to outstanding examples of Architecture. With juries composed of highly-qualified professionals offering diverse perspectives and expertise, all submissions are reviewed in the context of the project team’s goals and evaluated for thoughtfully designed resolution of those goals.