PHOTO TOUR: Southdown Institute
The Southdown Institute is a charitable organization that provides mental health and addictions assessment and treatment programs to the international religious community. The focus of the care centers is to promote health and well-being through the integration of psychological treatment and the Catholic spiritual tradition.
Completed in February 2014, the new facility was designed by Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc. and presents a modest, residential scale on first arrival. The primary two-story volumes are concealed by the chapel and the stand of mature pines. The building is clad in wood siding, which is painted charcoal gray with some feature walls in red. This is intended to minimize the prominence of the building massing and allow the lush greenery of the landscape to dominate. The bright primary colors of the chapel’s stained-glass window, which was preserved and relocated from the previous site, contrast sharply with the dark exterior.
The building was conceived as a healing retreat linked to the tranquility of the surrounding landscape. The site incorporates an important watershed, which will establish a natural reserve in an area that’s quickly becoming built up. The building is situated around a central courtyard featuring a stand of mature white pines, which is accessible from all the major communal spaces.
Two major interior spaces anchor the secular and religious life within the facility. The great room is the social heart of the Southdown Institute, centered on a fireplace and including views of the wooded landscape to the north. The room is furnished with soft seating as well as a library, computer area, and games area.
In contrast to the communal spaces, 22 modest private bedrooms on the second floor provide opportunities for privacy and reflection. Consultation and treatment rooms occupy a discreet wing on the second floor.