The Communicare Chemical Dependency Unit, known as Haven House, is a 48-bed residential facility for the treatment of drug and alcohol dependency serving seven counties in northern Mississippi. Located on a steeply sloped, three-acre site surrounded by woods, the 14,000-square-foot building includes five counseling offices, variously sized group meeting and conference rooms, lounges, and a kitchen and dining room that serve three meals a day. It replaces an old wood-framed church.
Historically, Haven House catered only to men. One-fourth of the new building’s rooms are dedicated to women, though, and mixing the sexes in a non-lockdown environment created several design challenges for the architects. A further challenge arose from the need to separate clients in acute care from ones in transitional care. The architects solved these problems by creating a hierarchy of spaces. The center’s first level contains common rooms, the second floor contains suites for male clients, and the top level contains rooms for female clients. Exclusive access stairways lead to the second and third floors.
Fenestration is staggered across the center’s façade, expressing the discontinuous circulation between floors. Meeting rooms and counselor offices feature views into the woods. The project’s tight budget allowed nothing for landscaping beyond the essential site construction, sod, and seed. The initial group of Haven House’s clients laid the patio paving themselves. A local Boy Scout troop constructed a nature trail through the scenic hills around the facility.
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