Pima County Behavioral Health Pavilion and Crisis Response Center


Cannon Design shared with us their latest mental health center for Pima County.  The project creates a “holistic healing campus” to serve various facets of behavioral medicine.  By integrating the architectural design with the raw beauty of the Sonora Desert, the project “balances the challenges of a complex interdisciplinary program, unique environmental conditions, and a lean construction budget.”

More about the health center and more images after the break.

In Cannon Design’s quest to create a healing campus, two interrelated buildings respond to the broadest range of patient needs.   The buildings are organized around a shared service court that provides a secure circulation zone for medical staff, law enforcement, courtroom personnel, and patient and material transfers.  The interiors provide private rooms that are naturally lit giving patients “privacy, security and dignity.”  The rooms are located close to shaded outdoor gardens to connect patients and staff directly to their surroundings.


Although most spaces lead to an outdoor area, the south façade features the most dramatic exterior space.  A carved-out multi-level terrace features a sky garden that provides views of the area.   The south-facing façade is clad in a corrugated perforated aluminum sunscreen to reduce peak energy loads by up to thirty percent.   The earth-toned concrete block combined with warm metallic panels and screens create a palette similar to the harsh Arizona landscape with high performance quality.


“The building’s orientation, indigenous landscaping, locally produced building materials with high recycling content, and careful glazing strategies bolster the concept of creating a holistic healing environment.” Special attention was paid to create innovative uses for standard building products in an effort to keep construction costs in line with the client’s modest budget, while also enhancing the atmosphere.

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