A Physical Environment to Achieve Emotional Well-Being

Lifeways’ mission is to “help people…achieve and maintain emotional well-being.” They offer a comprehensive array of behavioral health services to Malheur and Umatilla County residences. Due to a lack of space, their services are limited. The Aspen Springs psychiatric facility will fill a great need in the community.

The building includes a “great room” for group activities, 16 individual sleeping units designed for security and safety, an outdoor area of refuge with recreation space, and administrative and clinical offices. Security for staff, patients, and visitors is a top priority. The layout of the space provides multiple layers of security. Barrier-free doors, anti-ligature design, and rounded corners promote safety.

Pinnacle practices an Evidence-Based Design approach – choosing design options based on credible research. A few examples seen in Aspen Springs include:

  • Sound contributes to distractions and outbursts in patients. To reduce noise, coffered ceilings with acoustical panels are integrated into living and dining spaces.
  • Color has a significant effect on reducing stress and anxiety. Natural woods with green accent colors and tones create a calming space.
  • Access to nature promotes healing. Large windows, a calming outdoor space, and removable artwork doors in the individual rooms provide a variety of access to nature.

Photo credit: Cheryl McIntosh

Project Details


Hermiston, OR


13,000 SF




Behavioral Health

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