Craig Hospital, one of the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation, recently completed the Family Housing project. The new apartment-style facility was designed with 34 accessible efficiency units where family members of newly injured spinal cord or brain injury patients are strongly encouraged to be present for their loved one's stay, to provide support and learn about the challenges of living with a disability.

The building's use of concrete, brick masonry, and operable window systems ties in to the existing Craig campus and the surrounding neighborhood. The residential-style character and design provide a more hospitable feel during the patient's recovery. A welcoming, natural Colorado theme was used to provide an inviting, nonclinical feel to the entry and public places for family events and social gatherings. Each apartment is spacious, light, and cheery, with equipment and accommodations specifically designed for the rehabilitation of patients in wheelchairs and their families. The comfortable, yet functional design is key to the families and patients as they learn to adapt to a new way of living.

Former patients who return for further services also use the housing units. They are often re-evaluated for three to five days on an outpatient basis, and wheelchair-accessible housing units are required. Families and re-eval patients will use these units interchangeably.

The building also contains a “Friendship Center” for patient/family gatherings and special occasions, to help in recovery. The design met the goal and vision of Craig Hospital in providing a building that was built specifically to meet the needs of patients in wheelchairs.

Project category: New construction (completed September 2002)

Chief administrator: Dennis O'Malley, President, (303) 789-8800

Firm: H+L Architecture, (303) 295-1792

Design team: Rob Davidson, Principal; Mark Williams, Associate Principal; Curtis Hendershott, Architect

Photography: ©2003 James H. Berchert Photography

Total building area (GSF): 57,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $167

Total cost (excluding land): $9,500,000