University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Western Behavioral Health at Twin Lakes

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Faced with the constraints of two aging facilities, which could accommodate only 40 patients at a time, UPMC recognized the pressing need for change. The forward-thinking solution involved the addition of a third building that expands their capacity by 24 beds and redefines their approach to rehabilitative patient care.

UPMC’s primary goal was to cultivate a warm, residential-like atmosphere, which meant traditional hospital or psychiatric clinical designs would likely not suffice. In response, the facility incorporates diverse spaces and purposeful elements, including a communal lounge and dining area, wood-toned cabinetry and comfortable furnishings.

Patient rooms are bathed in natural light from expansive windows and are furnished with beds, desks, nightstands and table lamps, evoking the comfort of a dormitory-style environment.

Ensuring staff and patient safety was also crucial, as evidenced by the creation of distinct zones separating administrative offices and storage areas from patient quarters and recreational spaces. Secure yet aesthetically pleasing double-hung residential windows are featured throughout the facility, providing additional patient protection.

Inspired by the mountainous surroundings, the building’s exterior embraces a “Cabin Lodge” design, utilizing durable siding and cultured stone to blend seamlessly with the local architecture. Careful measures were also taken to preserve the site’s native ecosystem. Creative solutions like water diversions help maintain the nearby natural spring and duck pond, ensuring a consistent flow of water.

With its patient-focused design and thoughtful safety measures, the facility not only revitalizes the quality of addiction treatment for UPMC but also cultivates a stronger, more resilient community. Every design choice converges to transform the center into a secure, therapeutic haven, offering countless patients an optimal environment for their recovery.