The Orchards at Orenco, Hillsboro, OR, REACH Community Development, Inc., WWA: Design Architect, Ankrom Moisan: Architect of Record | Madrona Studios, Portland, OR, Central City Concern, WWA: Design Architect
Esther Short Commons, Vancouver, WA, Vancouver Housing Authority / Kemper Co., LLC, WWA: Design Architect
Biophilia: The Watershed at Hillsdale has rainwater collected from the roofs which cascades into two terraced landscape areas. | At Portland State University Health and Counseling Center, visitors stress is reduced upon entering through this portico, calmed by a pool with bubbler and natural stone materials.
At Curry Medical Center in Brookings, Oregon, the waiting room features wide views of a garden which can be directly accessed, creating a restorative calm.
At Wellspring a holistic health and lifestyle center in Woodburn, Oregon, natural wood, and natural geometries create emotional responses to nature
At Outside In, a youth home and agency in Portland, Oregon, we used a sunscreen as a canvas for art which was specifically commissioned to create a welcoming feel for ‘street kids’. | At Central City Concern’s Madrona Studios, we converted former hotel rooms to apartments, where abundant daylight from large windows support a healing environment.

Housing + Health

More than the sum of its parts

To support the increasing convergence of housing and healthcare services for populations in need, Clark Kjos Architects is working in a unique association with William Wilson Architects. For the past 40+ years, William Wilson Architects (WWA) has designed a wide variety of affordable and market-rate multi-family housing.

Clark/Kjos Architects (CKA) has designed healthy buildings and behavioral health architecture for over 25 years. Since 2015, both firms have worked in partnership to bring together our expertise and are currently designing special-populations residential housing.

Recent Project Experience
Two current collaborative projects include the Pine Lodge Residential Adolescent Behavioral Rehabilitation campus master plan, for the State of Washington near Spokane, Washington; and a health campus redevelopment project, which is being designed to provide 50+ permanent supportive housing units and a center for outpatient programs serving those with behavioral health conditions.

Why Our Collaboration Works
Our supportive housing projects are contracted through WWA, with CKA as integrated design consultant for healthy building, biophilia and healing environment design. This approach gives clients single-point control while gaining the benefit of this effective association. The end goal is to give our clients confidence that they are getting an experienced team that can deliver a project that provides specialized housing and client-centered, supportive healthcare services all in one coordinated project.

A unique approach to creating healing environments for the housing of special populations.

We believe in the power of architecture to uplift the spirit, inspire and heal. Our design alliance is focused on creating innovative homes that are designed to do just this by employing research-based design strategies. The places where people live and work are the single largest contributors to health outcomes.

Our approaches for enhancing health through design include the following five strategies:

  • Biophilia: Direct experiences of nature, including both immersion in and viewing of natural gardens with fresh air, daylight, plants, light and water specifically designed for healing. Multiple studies have shown that contact with nature reduces stress, improves attention and can improve healing and mental restoration. In 1984, Roger Ulrich conducted a study that posited that healthcare patients with views of nature recovered faster than those viewing a brick wall. Since then, other research has broadened our understanding of how properly designed natural settings reduce stress and uplift the spirit within multifamily housing and other settings.
  • Indirect experience of nature, including using natural materials and forms inside our buildings, including use of wood, images of nature, natural geometries (think curved forms), natural colors, etc
  • Strategic socially sensitive design for emotionally fragile and excitable individuals. Our experience with design of safe behavioral health environments taught us that we must design for a range of socialization styles within the same environment. Some individuals need to observe but not directly participate in socialization, certain spaces overly excite volatile people, etc. Generally, space shaping and connection patterns are critical elements in creating comprehensible environments and calming wayfinding.
  • Cultural references and art within the environment: A sense of belonging can be increased by embedding cultural clues within architecture. Even displaying art requires architectural design to effectively include it. This ranges from the warmth of historic forms to specific (even multiple) ethnic references.
  • Healthy building materials: After decades of hearing about “sick” buildings, designers and manufacturers of building supplies have made significant progress in developing low-VOC materials, improving ventilation systems, and other methods for reducing the impact buildings can have on human health. We actively pursue these strategies to enhance health within our building designs.