Photo of PeaceHealth Behavioral Health
Photo of PeaceHealth Behavioral Health
Photo of PeaceHealth Behavioral Health
Photo of PeaceHealth Behavioral Health
Photo of PeaceHealth Behavioral Health
Photo of PeaceHealth Behavioral Health

PeaceHealth Behavioral Health

A Safe Place to Heal

PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center seeks to connect patients to critical services while offering privacy and a safe place for people to heal from trauma. For this project, our paramount goal was relocating the existing adult behavioral health facility while minimizing hospital interruptions and continuing to provide excellent care. Rather than renovating an existing space within the hospital, we created a new 26,000 SF, 35-bed behavioral health inpatient facility by infilling a level 1 parking structure within an occupied medical office building. This modern behavior health unit is close to the emergency room to make transporting patients easy, and now provides two different levels of safety based on the patient’s needs in a private, home-like setting.

Eugene, Oregon
  • 36 beds
  • 26,000 sq. ft.
  • Completed in 2014

Behavioral Health


Architecture: James Smith

Interiors: Cindy Schaumberg

Architecture Story

A New Center of Therapy

Originally, PeaceHealth planned to invest in upgrading their existing buildings. But after collaborating in a detailed study with a general contractor, we learned that with minor demolition, we could instead infill of an open-air parking structure that was situated below medical offices. Our final plan offers spacious, streamlined facilities that save money, increase the quality of care, and minimizes disruptions to existing services. Our new design is a patient-focused intensive therapy facility that accommodates the needs of PeaceHealth clinicians, staff, and managers: Work sessions with the PeaceHealth team informed the flexible, modern facility. The internal layout of spaces and services helps enhance flexibility in patient therapy programs, while the building’s exterior composition offers a gracious new image for the hospital facility and a conscientious response to the surrounding neighborhood.


Interior Story

Patient-focused Design

Privacy and safety were critical design considerations. Our new design balances security requirements with each patient’s need for a healthy, healing environment. We want patients to feel safe but not like they’re in a guarded institution. PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center is on the University of Oregon campus, with many rooms facing the street. So, our design emphasizes natural light and privacy. Every room has a bathroom with a half wall, so patients can be seen but also have privacy. The room doors have small windows, and curtains on the outside allow staff to check on patients, but patients also have privacy from passersby. Every aspect of the design was reviewed to ensure nothing could harm patients. Small safety details, like putting window blinds between panes of glass, prevent opportunities for harm. Unique interior aspects make the spaces feel comfortable: Warm wood-grain flooring, neutral, soothing colors, dimmable lighting, soft furniture, and galleries of patient artwork create a welcoming space. Access to natural daylight and the outdoors support healing; all-day rooms open to a secure outdoor area where patients can safely go outside, and each patient room has a garden in the space between their window and frosted glass panels. Skylights in day rooms flood the spaces with natural light. For staff safety, flexible barriers permit patient separations as needed and adjust for the flow of new patients. Nurses are centrally located so they can quickly support one another. Public rooms let judges or other members of the public visit while creating privacy for everyone. With no blind corridors, staff and patients can always be seen. Creating a comprehensive healing environment, the design also includes a warming kitchen to feed patients, a quiet room for patients to be alone and calm, an activity room for art therapy, arts and crafts, and a library.