New rooftop patio at Providence is ‘not only safe, but it’s beautiful’
Mortenson's Seattle team converted an old hospital helipad in Everett into a safe outdoor space where behavioral health patients can get fresh air.
Providence Colby Campus Rooftop Patio

In the news: Everett Herald

The Lapis Rooftop Patio provides patients of Providences Colby Campus’s inpatient behavioral health unit with space to enjoy fresh air surrounded by unobstructed views of the mountains and city below. This vital outdoor time that helps patients heal was not previously available.

A year before the rooftop’s opening, Mortenson remodeled the hospital’s fourth floor to create a 24-bed inpatient behavioral health unit. The increased capacity for patients requiring more extended stays came with the need to create secure outdoor space. ‘“The whole concept of the patio is for patients to be able to get outside in nature, see the beautiful views, and really have that therapeutic perspective out there,’ said Larua Knapp, the hospital’s director of behavioral health.”

The 1,600-square-foot outdoor patio was previously an old helicopter landing pad. This vacant location on the same floor as the behavioral health inpatient unit served as the perfect solution to the suburban campus’s need for outdoor space. Once the site was selected, the team’s primary concern became how to make it safe for patients.

According to James Grafton, Providence’s design and construction manager, ‘“It’s a really unique facility. I don’t think there are many spaces like it in the United States. We had to sort of figure out how to do it on the fly – both the clinical staff and the construction side of it – to make a space that’s both safe and therapeutic.”

Balancing the need to adhere to psychiatric facility standards while maintaining a patio feel and not obstructing views required unique solutions. The resulting patio is open to the sky and offers panoramic views through the 12-foot blue fences. Rolling cylinders on top of the fences prevent the ability to scale the enclosure. The patio’s design utilizes deep blues of the gemstone lapis lazuli throughout the mountain landscape mural and floor paint, which inspired the space’s name.  

Foundation vice president Ed Gardner sums it up, saying, ‘“To go to what it was, just an old flat roof of tar, to beautiful colors that were introduced in the mural. The quality of the space is really important. This space is not only safe, but it’s beautiful.”’


Full coverage in Everett Herald

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