Veteran's Law Institute

Stetson University 

The Veteran's Law Institute at Stetson University performs outreach to veterans returning home so that they are aware of all the programs and assistance available to them. The institute had a lack of space, formerly operating in a small house. Looking to expand and create a dignified space for veterans JAH was hired to give attention to all of the complex requirements for an institute serving veterans. JAH's proposal was to create a "Healing Environment" that seeks to address and lessen the issues they deal with daily, and not to aggravate or increase their anxiety.

The project uses cognitive mapping by creating several architectural elements to serve as way finding throughout the project, this serves to help keep veterans who might have PTSD constantly aware of where they are so they do not feel trapped. The space plan utilizes an open format in order to have no hidden corners or closed off spaces in order to address those who might have anxiety issues. 

The colors and shapes were chosen to create familiarity and comfort. The design engages the user through its use of texture such as the stone serving to create rhythm and its curvilinear ceiling to draw and direct the user where they need to go. With the warmness of materials an attention to how the space is light was also needed. Most of the light in the project is indirect (70% up and 30% down), using a variety of lighting techniques and in a playful way that creates a sense of calmness. All of the lights are on dimmers so that the level of light can be controlled for optimum comfort. Another important element to JAH was making sure that circadian rhythms are not interrupted so light from the outside is let in to orient you to time of day, while doing so in a way that doesn't not overwhelm the space with light. 

Another concern was about confidentiality and sound transmission. JAH took several steps to acoustically isolate each space to provide privacy while allowing a veteran who might be hard of hearing to have a conversation without worrying about being heard, while also being able to hear people communicating to them. Foam filled doors, offset electrical outlets, seals on all openings, z-shaped vents, double pane glass, and offsetting of rooms all worked together to achieve a STC (Sound Transmission Class) of no less than 60 anywhere in the building.

 

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Client

Year

2018

Location

Gulfport, FL

Description

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