Adolescent Mental Health Center A.K.A. Klingenstein House
Richard Turlington Architects Inc has been the sole designer for the hospital since 2005 and continues to work collaboratively with the executive team as the hospital grows while developing and adding new programs.
Klingenstien House, better known as “K” House on campus, is the hospital's Adolescents Mental Health Center. It was restructured adding and removing walls, wings, windows, and doors that ultimately stripped the wood-framed house to its bones. As the Board members approved the new design of “K” House at Silver Hill Hospital and with the help of Richard Turlington Architects Inc team attending the planning and zoning hearings in New Canaan, a brand new structure was erected. The Hospital's executive team included the Chief Medical Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer, along with Board members and staff of the Hospital who worked hand-in-hand with the design team to create a new house and new programs.
Within the newly designed “K” House was a co-ed adolescent program designed with our holistic approach to both patient and practitioner. The first-floor includes a fully functioning classroom with a teacher for all in house patients including computer, homework, and art stations.
A large open-access kitchen and nearby fire-place lend to the feeling of home for the teenage population of this house. Wellness was considered here as the effects of the change in the environment on a teenager’s ability to feel safe are paramount to their health. With these thoughts in mind, we created spaces that are comfortable and feel safe. The reading nook was designed to be a special place in the living room for one or two individuals who want to away from the crowd, but be a part of the room.
The obstruction-free design of the accessible nurse’s station was for patients to interact freely with the staff.
We created bedrooms painted with bright happy yellows and warm cherry woods. One special feature was the introduction of a new central staircase that was sky-lit form above, resulting in daylight penetrating through the building and into the first-floor living spaces.
From an architectural design standpoint, the vernacular of the house was changed from a two-story colonial to a cottage-style bungalow. This change in design enhanced the visual appeal and its inherent bohemian lifestyle which has greatly appealed to the patient population.
The interior of this house revolved around the concept of “the hearth is home” feeling, which built off an existing fireplace and chimney that the design team chose to protect during the de-construction of the former home. This was a conscious and purposeful decision that was made to centralize the home-like atmosphere that a fireplace connotes.
The interior finishes followed the interior design theme reinforced the exterior aesthetic by introducing bold colors, non-traditional furniture, fabrics, and art not commonly thought of when thinking of a hospital environment. Our goal in promoting wellness was to create spaces where the patients felt the freedom to explore the new ideas they have been exposed to by staff and to help facilitate the healing processes, we believe that this holistic approach does just that.