The Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital is a secure, chronic care facility, with 260 adult beds and 60 adolescent beds. It consolidates two former mental health facilities: the Westborough State Hospital and the Worcester State Hospital.
Working closely with Collaborating Architect architecture+ of Troy, New York, Ellenzweig (Design Architect and Architect of Record) provided programming, site analysis, design, and construction administration services for the project. The agencies directing and administering the project were the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. The Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital is the largest building project ever undertaken by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Programming of this highly complex project involved more than 100 Department of Mental Health staff members, with program approval requiring the consensus of more than 300 stakeholders, psychiatric treatment professionals, and specialized planners and designers.
A central programmatic goal was to create an architectural response that directly supports a therapeutic program to promote patient emergence and recovery, as opposed to the historically employed custodial model. Programmatic elements within the recovery model include clusters of eight to 10 bedrooms that share a common living space and dining areas that each serve three of these clusters; therapeutic treatment areas each serve up to 78 patients. The hospital is designed as a village-like setting to promote patient recovery, providing all of the functions for everyday life, including retail shops, a bank, library, hair salon, gymnasium and fitness facilities, art and craft learning areas, medical and dental clinics, pharmacy, classrooms, a music room, chapel, and conference center.
The project is LEED Gold certified.