Salem Health opened the Salem Health Rehabilitation Center and Let’s All Play Space in February 2016 in Salem, Ore. The rehabilitation center was previously located on the hospital’s Center Street campus, two miles from the main hospital; however, the opportunity to move the outpatient rehab center to the main campus presented itself in 2010 when the hospital’s neighbor, the Oregon School for the Blind, was closed and the property put up for sale. Salem Health purchased the site and began work developing a master plan for its newest acquisition.

The design team at Scott Edwards Architecture and the hospital spent several months working with the surrounding historic neighborhood community and alumni of the Oregon School for the Blind to develop a site plan and building that was responsive to concerns expressed during several community outreach sessions.

The new rehab center was to be a building that preserved the park-like environment of the former school, while serving patients in need of pediatric therapy, aquatic therapy, adult orthopedic and neurological therapy, and work injury management. Several months were spent working closely with staff to identify the appropriate therapeutic adjacencies, develop a design that fit within the constraints of the site’s master plan, and provide the best possible experience for patients and staff.

The final design of the building includes a two-story, 34,000-square-foot building that answer’s the CEO’s request for a “sculpture in a park.” The design draws patients in by creating a dramatic two-story lobby filled with modern and warm touches.

The building provides opportunities to challenge and also support patients during their time receiving therapy. Even the smallest details were considered in design, including dual-height handrails, multiple areas for respite (including wood benches created from the trees removed from the site), fatigue-resistant gym floors, and floor patterns that can be used in gait training.

The Salem Health adaptive playground, the Let’s All Play Place, was created to honor the site’s history as well as its future by creating a place for individuals of all abilities to learn through play. Rehabilitation and education were integral throughout all aspects of design. Materials, surfaces and slopes alternate throughout, providing opportunities for patrons to learn and be challenged.

Project team
Architecture: Scott Edwards Architecture
Interior design: Scott Edwards Architecture
Contracting: Turner Construction Co.
Construction: Turner Construction Co.
Civil: Harper Houf Peterson Righellis Inc. (HHPR)
Structural: KPFF Consulting Engineers
Geotechnical: GeoDesign Inc.
Landscape architecture: Studio
Pool consultant: Counsilman-Hunsaker
Arborist: The Pacific Resources Group