Gresham Smith Celebrates Completion of Cornell Behavioral Health Pavilion at Sarasota Memorial Hospital

December 12, 2023

Gresham Smith is proud to announce the completion of the Cornell Behavioral Health Pavilion at Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Sarasota campus in southwest Florida. The 82-bed, 95,000-square-foot facility replaces the health system’s older psychiatric hospital across the street, enhancing, expanding and centralizing inpatient and outpatient care for people affected by mental and behavioral health challenges.

“Mental illness affects one in five Americans every year, so it’s imperative that the right behavioral health services are available in the right place, at the right time,” said Michael Willis, AIA, LEED AP, Senior Architect and Project Manager at Gresham Smith. “Our team is proud of the safe, therapeutic, healing environment we designed and are pleased to know that it will provide a full continuum of inpatient and outpatient services in one convenient location for the Gulf Coast region.”

In addition to intake space and outpatient services, the pavilion includes four inpatient units dedicated to specific patient populations: a 16-bed geriatric unit, a 20-bed acute care unit, a 24-bed adult unit and a 22-bed adolescent unit. Front-of-house and back-of-house circulation emphasizes safety for both patients and staff, and standardized floor plans enhance efficiency. However, while the units are similar in layout, unique colors, finishes and artwork on each floor—which were strategically chosen to reduce environmental stressors—give each space a unique identity.

To maximize natural light in the facility’s inpatient rooms, the design team increased the ceiling height to allow for larger windows. Additionally, glass partitions around staff and social spaces allow light further into the building while also enhancing sightlines. Promoting dignity and independence, inpatient rooms allow patients who stay overnight to control the temperature and mood lighting in their room, open and close their blinds, and certain patient populations have access to a personal shower. The interior courtyard, which features a garden, patio and gym, as well as upper-level screened-in porches, provide respite and further connect patients to nature.

Gresham Smith provided architecture and interior design services for the project, which is a continuation of the firm’s more than 20-year relationship with Sarasota Memorial Health Care System. Gresham Smith also designed the main campus’ nine-story patient towerinpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facility, 600-car parking garage, surgery department vertical expansion, and numerous renovations within the hospital itself.