A sensitive accommodation for mental health services
Located in the DuPage County Government Center campus in Wheaton, the Linda A. Kurzawa Community Center is a strikingly different building. DCHD officials selected Wight to create a new building that would look and feel far different than the typical place where people coping with mental health issues can access services. Most mental health facilities across the country are sterile environments, more akin to medical clinics than inviting counseling centers. The design for the new Community Center draws on notions of hospitality and respite.
A warm material palette, generous access to daylight, and comfortable furnishings establish a relaxed, non-threatening environment where patients can seek recovery from a broad spectrum of mental and behavioral conditions. The centerpiece of Wight’s design solution is an outdoor courtyard surrounded by the building’s program spaces. Landscaped as a healing garden, this courtyard provides a space for relaxation and reflection. It is a sanctuary from the other governmental and justice functions that occupy much of the County’s campus.
2016 Merit Award Finalist - New Construction Suburbs, Chicago Building Congress