Brand New Pediatric Outpatient Mental Health Facility Opens, Features Latest Lighting Tech
By Laurie Emery
In support of mental health awareness all year long, we are highlighting the grand opening of The King’s Daughters Children’s Pavilion in Norfolk, Virginia, which began providing outpatient mental health care on April 25. An initiative launched by CHKD in 2018 to address their region’s concern about the lack of local pediatric mental health services which was overwhelmingly supported by their community, and $65 million in seed money was raised through their Lighting the Way campaign. This behavioral health facility features the Visa Lighting Gig wall sconce and Symmetry circular ceiling light. Both of these innovative lighting products have received the Gold Nightingale Awards for their advanced technology and light performance.
The opening of the Children’s Pavilion in April, 2022 marked the beginning of their outpatient mental health services offerings, which will continue to expand in phases through 2023. It will include inpatient services as well. The timing of the opening of this new facility couldn’t have been better as it’s no secret that children’s mental health has been greatly impacted by the ongoing effects of the pandemic and the ever changing world around them. The addition of a space specifically designed for the care of children’s mental and behavioral health has become critical.
I reached out to the designers at Array Architects for a Q &A to learn more about this significant project, from planning to implementation, to learn about their lighting design choices. Special thanks to Lauren Michaels, Senior Associate Interior Designer and Stephanie Story, Interior Design Director at Array, both of whom provided their thoughtful responses to our questions about the project. Also, thanks to Craig Meaney, Senior Associate and Communications Manager at Array, for assisting with the correspondence between the designers at Array and Visa Lighting!
Laurie: At the launch of this project for the design phase, was the design team asked to focus on any specific lighting design features for the pediatric mental health care that they wanted to see provided?
Array Architects: During discovery, the team explored giving patients control of their lighting. To help normalize the environment, giving items like dimming, color-changing and reading lights with varied intensity allows the patients to feel more in control of their environment.
Laurie: Did the client pursue “Mock-up” spaces to explore their lighting options before making final decisions? If so, what were they looking for in the lighting products to be selected for these areas? Did they “test” the products for ligature-resistance, form or function?
Array Architects: The team created a mock-up for the typical inpatient room, which was first cardboard and ultimately became a full construction mock-up. In the mock-up, we explored patient and family member lighting at the bedside. This included the Visa Lighting Gig light with three-way touch capabilities, and a color changing downlight above the patient bed with pre-set color settings controlled by a remote fastened to the wall for patient use. The products in the mock-up were tested for durability, ligature resistance and functionality.
Laurie: What is the current status of the project and future plans for expansion?
Array Architects: The project was completed at the end of April, with the lower floor outpatient pediatric clinics currently in use. The inpatient units are set to open this summer. There are multiple shell floors that could potentially be fit-out as additional inpatient units in the future. King’s Daughters Children’s Hospital is continuing their fundraising efforts at the Lighting the Way page where you can learn more and contribute if you want to help.
Laurie: Does the design team at Array or the client have any comments regarding lighting selections that were made?
Array Architects: We are very pleased with the lighting selections, and we believe the client is also satisfied. Safety was everyone’s main focus, but the fact that we were able to achieve this while also providing aesthetically pleasing lighting that enhanced the patient experience can really aid in raising the bar for future behavioral health design.
Laurie: Did Penn Lighting and/or Visa Lighting provide any specific assistance during the design?
Array Architects: Yes, samples of focal fixtures such as Visa Lighting’s Gig light and the Symmetry light (used throughout inpatient corridors at activity areas) were provided by our rep, as well as their assistance in coordinating the mock-up and general correspondence with the design team throughout the design process.
This Array Architects blog post provides additional information about the design considerations for behavioral health environments. Array Architects Blog
Therapeutic environments can have a positive effect on patient experience and help reduce the stigma surrounding behavioral health treatment.