Connecticut architecture firm, Richard Turlington Architects restored River House (which is the sister house of Scavetta House and also built by Alfred Mausolff in the early part of the 1900's) on the 42 acre Silver Hill Hospital campus. The living space of River House includes 6,500 square feet, which overlook a pond that connects to the Silver Mine River in the rear. The restoration of this residential building into a healthcare facility included not only creating interior designs that would restore it to back to its original glory aesthetically, but at the same time required creating an inpatient mental health facility which focuses on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for both males and females.
The building needed to be upgraded in terms of plumbing, HVAC, roof, façade and more but also had to be reconfigured in the interior spaces to create the bedrooms and offices required to operate in the same manner as the rest of the hospital. Working with the local fire marshals and health commissioners was part of the process of construction.
As this was a century plus old stucco home which has inherently dark interior spaces the main design challenge was solved by removing all the walls of the living spaces and introducing skylights and oversized windows to accommodate new openness flooded with daylight. This was also intended to allow nursing staff to have visual control of the patient population. Ultimately the interior design changes created a space where the patients were able to approach staff that was no longer hidden behind doors.
A most unique architectural design challenge that faced Richard Turlington Architects was creating a new interface between the inside and the outdoors that would allow occupants to be able to enjoy the beautiful rear landscape along the Silver Mine River, view of the pond and the expansive private backyard at the same time respecting the original character of the house designed by the late architect Alfred Mausolff, a beloved local architect of New Canaan. Easy access and enjoyment of the rear of the property was underutilized by design. Richard Turlington Architects addressed this challenge by designing a beautiful cantilevered teak deck that has a capacity for all the patients and staff to enjoy at one time.
Vestibules were added to both sides of the house and great care was taken in the selection of interior design finishes to compliment the style of the home while also being functional in a medical facility.
As with any hospital setting the interior design of this house required fire-rated fabrics, medical grade long-lasting furniture but had to blend into the residential flavor of the rest of the other buildings on the campus. Richard Turlington Architects approaches each building on the Silver Hill campus as part of a story and although each space is unique the theme created by our designs carry through to each one.