The Access Center represents a collaborative effort between numerous organizations, agencies, and municipalities across Johnson County. The facility responds to community demand for rehabilitation services as an alternative to retribution. By bundling numerous services under one roof, the facility provides much-needed care for patients facing a behavioral health or substance abuse crisis. In doing so, it diverts individuals from jail or emergency rooms and saves taxpayer money.
The building is comprised of two components connected by a sally port. The east portion functions as an overflow homeless shelter during winter months and multi-purpose space in warmer months. The west portion houses mental health and substance abuse treatment centers. 16 rooms for short-term stays include private bathrooms to protect the privacy and dignity of each patient. The building also includes a sobering space that can accommodate up to ten patients, as well as meeting rooms for first responders, healthcare professionals, and law enforcement.
The design team sought to create a warm, welcoming, and therapeutic environment. A muted color palette, comfortable and durable furniture, and luxury vinyl plank floors create a residential atmosphere. Biophilic design principles were used to promote physical, mental, and social health for both patients and staff. A 300-foot span of north-facing clerestory windows supplies an abundance of natural light, even on cloudy days. To reduce utility costs, the facility includes a 390-panel photovoltaic array, geothermal wells, and a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heating and cooling system.
Iowa City, Iowa