Richland Hospital, in south central Wisconsin, had a vision of creating a more personalized care experience for their close-knit community through their inpatient expansion project. The goal was to centralize inpatient services on a single floor, therefore enhancing quality and efficiency of care delivered. Key to achieving this vision was creating an experience that did not feel institutional while still evoking a technology-forward atmosphere.
The resulting expansion and renovation project provides the hospital with an updated aesthetic as well as ties to the community and natural surroundings of the region. With the local community at the forefront of the design team's considerations, the resulting design borrows heavily from the surrounding rural architectural influences including the famed local architect Frank Lloyd Wright whose Hillside Home School is located 20 miles from the hospital. Ultimately, the design creates a welcoming place for staff, patients and families. Peaceful respite is provided for family, patients and staff at either end of the inpatient unit via sun-filled porches with operable windows allowing fresh air to fill the space and rejuvenate the mind. The family lounge features a natural stone wall that embraces material from the exterior columns, strengthening the link between exterior and interior. This lounge is located centrally to all units and overlooks courtyard green roofs. The needs of the patient were the first priority in the design of all patient rooms. Family participation in the patient experience is encouraged with the inclusion of a sleeper sofa, dedicated desk space and ample personal storage within each room. Working with local artists, Kahler Slater's designers were able to incorporate original artwork throughout much of the project, focusing on imagery relevant to the surrounding community.