HKS-Designed Arcadia Trails Creates Idyllic Haven for Oklahoma Addiction Patients

Arcadia Trails INTEGRIS Center for Addiction Recovery is a response to the state of Oklahoma’s overwhelming need for a place of healing, recovery and rehabilitation from substance abuse and addiction. In its desire to meet this need, INTEGRIS Health approached HKS with a straightforward request: design an exceptional facility centered on each individual patient’s unique journey through treatment, integrated amongst the solace of nature yet set within close proximity to a medical facility.

Discreetly nestled between a busy stretch of Interstate 35 and an oak grove on the original INTEGRIS Edmond site, this new 60,000-square-foot recovery center will function as an integrated treatment facility for drug and alcohol addiction, mental health and emotional trauma. The campus features an inpatient residence wing, customized outpatient-therapy spaces, a conference center and a beautifully landscaped courtyard and lawn.

“Our client gave us a very clear directive – they did not want us to mimic the architectural or interior aesthetic of their adjacent Edmond hospital,” said Jamie Castillo, HKS Regional Director of Health Interiors and senior interior designer on the project. “Because this rehabilitation facility is the first of its kind to open in the state of Oklahoma, our design goal was to cultivate a uniquely serene retreat that would cater to the physical, mental, and spiritual recovery of residents suffering from addiction and substance abuse – for both outpatients and inpatients alike, regardless of demographic, age or status.”

Oklahoma wrestles with some of the nation’s highest rates for mental illness and substance abuse, but federal government statistics show the state lags most of the country regarding access to mental health care. INTEGRIS Health and private donors have poured more than $30 million into Arcadia Trails – a proactive commitment to treating patients’ addiction as a disease and not a moral failing.

“The environment is very important to the healing process,” said Avilla Williams, an INTEGRIS division president who oversees both the Edmond hospital and Arcadia Trails.

With that in mind, INTEGRIS selected a site that directly bordered a wooded area. The design team drew inspiration from this wooded seclusion, tucked well into the landscape in order to cultivate a sense of calm and tranquility. The use of locally sourced stone, timber columns overhangs and wood planks further enhance the structure’s place within the surrounding forest. Both the exterior and interior spaces deliver an air of elegance and sophistication, using materials that may not be as common within more traditional health care environments, such as polished concrete floors and wood mullions.

Room to Heal

Hospital leaders described their vision to HKS: a building with plenty of room for patient education and group therapy, as well as spaces for exercise and integrative medicine — a type of care that combines conventional treatment with complementary therapies such as art therapy, massage therapy and acupuncture. It was also important for the center to create a relaxing environment for patients’ families, Williams added.

HKS designers knew they faced a challenge of balancing the request to create inviting spaces with the requirement to protect patient privacy. The team was determined to craft a split-level building that would take advantage of the sloping terrain while providing privacy for patients and their families. Accessed from the public entrance, the conference center faces the medical campus, whereas patients experience a more secluded entry further down the site and more intuitive to the natural surround.

Architecturally, the low profile and butterfly roofs of Arcadia Trails begin to set it apart from the grand scale of the adjacent six-story hospital and medical office building. HKS Architect Mary Ferrer tied the building to its natural surroundings by incorporating wood into the façade while including a coordinating brick, stone and metal used on the Edmond hospital’s exterior. The angled roof design and horizontal wood screening elements further enhance the building’s modern edge.

Bright and Airy

The contemporary design of the exterior flows seamlessly indoors, where the warmth of wood, natural stones, stained concrete floors, and mid-century modern furnishings and light fixtures create a hospitable ambiance. Like the exterior design, the interior aesthetic takes cues from the abutting forest, providing views to the outdoors and access to natural light wherever possible. Palette accents in gray, blue, and clay are inspired by the colors of the Oklahoma sunset and the neighboring Arcadia Lake.

Upon immediate entry into the residents’ lobby, there is a reception desk set against a prominent wall recess, lined with locally sourced limestone, and framed by a rich Honduran mahogany portal.

“We wanted to create a distinct feature that was symbolic to the patient’s rehabilitative journey, a detail that could have a subtle presence throughout the building,” Castillo said. “The wood portals and streamlined linear details not only mark transitions between physical spaces within the facility, they also act as symbolic reminders of the steps in the patient’s metaphorical journey and transition toward healing.”

Custom millwork throughout the facility is crafted with Calacatta quartz countertops and a similar mahogany wood, reinforced for durability. Crisp white walls, exposed ceilings and wood mullions within the curtain walls create a bright, open and airy atmosphere. The dining room — reminiscent of a vintage café — opens to additional seating on the courtyard, the heart of Arcadia Trails. The picturesque space features evergreen foliage and meandering paths that lead to pockets of lounge seating and small conversation areas. A concrete deck was carved into the courtyard to further provide a gathering area for outdoor activities.

Just as the building layout protects patient privacy, so do other design features. Fritted glass in the chapel and wood privacy screens outside patient suites allow direct views of the courtyard and shield the patients from potential onlookers. In addition, clerestory windows play an integral role throughout the facility. Within the resident gymnasium, for example, these windows prevent visual access to the adjacent parking lots while they also flood the space with natural light.

Blending with Nature 

Past the dining room, a sloped corridor leads patients down to the 40-bed residential wing, a lesson in responsible design. Rather than designing the suites at street level, the HKS team tucked them into the sloping topography, avoiding the redistribution of soil and the addition of unnecessary support material.

“We were really conscious about using the natural grade of the site,” Ferrer said.

HKS designers created semi-private high-end suites with full-size beds, custom headboards, built-in wardrobes in a mahogany finish, bathrooms with decorative tile-lined walls, quartz countertops, and brass light fixtures with a mid-century edge. Large windows brighten the rooms and offer unobscured views of either the lush courtyard or forest. Additional spaces within the facility also capitalize on the serene natural views, including the community rooms in the residential wing and the art therapy room.

Ferrer added, “Right before the sun comes up, you feel as if you’re nestled in the woods – quite a peaceful experience.”

The team designed Arcadia Trails to radiate hospitality and embody healing, shaping it into a sanctuary where patients can ease into recovery and transition into a positive and stable future.

Williams praised HKS’ health care practice, calling the team’s knowledge of health care code requirements “impeccable.”

“They understand the culture of Oklahoma, and they are able to come in and work with our various organizations that we have to get approval for, and they’re able to do that pretty seamlessly because they have over the years developed that kind of understanding and relationship,” she said.