Regaining Independence: A Long-Term Acute-Care Hospital

Tasked with designing a long-term acute-care hospital serving patients recovering from brain and spinal cord injuries, Austin Ferguson, a student at Clemson University, conceived a project focused on the patient experience that capitalizes on views, daylight, and simplified navigation to afford independence.

Conceived for a site in Boone, North Carolina, the conceptual two-story facility is approached from an entrance courtyard along its northern side. Therapy programs feature prominently along the southern end of the building, along with an “activity tower,” which focuses on patient recovery with a recreation area and a gym.

Inpatient program and support spaces are located on the second floor, where patients can choose from a variety of rooms that range from public to private.

Offering entry to a greenway that runs through the town of Boone, an outdoor deck accesses a large ramp that serves as seating for the facility’s amphitheater.

A glass bridge overlooking the entrance courtyard permits views of the activity below, while each inpatient unit includes a cafe. Large floor plates provide patients with the opportunity to improve mobility during recovery, while patient rooms incorporate sun-shading technology to infuse the interiors with daylight.