Oregon State Hospital: Hygge Wing

Student: Jessica Cunningham

School: Wentworth Institute of Technology

This project’s design intent focused on destigmatizing the meaning behind mental healthcare and what it not only should look like, but how it should be experienced from the patient’s point of view. Located in Salem, Oregon – within the existing Oregon State Hospital campus – the Hygge Wing will reimagine the needs for mental healthcare within this community. The three-story wing provides 37 inpatient beds across the first two floors and provides outpatient services on the top floor. Using the building’s envelope, the design strays away from an institutional feel and leans towards a comfortable healing environment. Giving patients privacy and sense of normalcy, while prioritizing safety and staying true to behavioral health fixtures and furnishings created a challenge to bridge that gap. Patients are provided with their own room, built-in furniture, and a private shower. In the communal areas, a media room, activity rooms, quieter Zen spaces and secure courtyard fill the day-to-day. To integrate natural light, skylights and light tunnels were strategically placed. Upon entry, a full skylight filters light through large architectural beams. The staircase acts as a transitional moment with a large skylight allowing light to pass through the vibrant colored safety glass below. The inpatient unit transitions to softer elements and a calmer palette. The ground floors direct access to the outdoor courtyard is matched on the second floor by light tunnels that protrude through the outpatient corridors and through the second floors ceiling to allow patients to experience more natural light from above.

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Salem, Oregon