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Community Mental Health Affiliates,
Transitional Living Facility
New Britain, CT

The new Community Mental Health Affiliates facility in New Britain, Connecticut transforms a former nursing home into a residential space that provides clients with a comfortable and personalized transitional living environment.

With the Community Mental Health Affiliates (CMHA) renovation, our design team worked with partners to gain a better understanding of who the residents are and how the space can be designed to efficiently support their mental health. Through these conversations with CMHA, our team proposed additions and changes that would resonate best with our partners’ goal.

CMHA is a nonprofit mental healthcare services provider that has supplied 24/7 residential care to some of Connecticut’s most vulnerable individuals for two decades. By acquiring the former Andrew House convalescent home in New Britain, CMHA has turned the facility into a home for two residential programs that serve 35 individuals with chronic mental health and medical health issues.

Shepley Bulfinch has transformed the facility to provide clients with a comfortable transitional space. In doing so, our design team provided a partial interior renovation, brand new MEP system, new roof, and a commercial kitchen. The goal was to design personalized spaces that feel like home for clients. Inside the building, clients will have individual spaces with single occupancy bedrooms which they can design themselves with choosing the paint color for their walls to decorating signage outside their bedroom doors. Shared spaces will include joint toilets between the rooms, laundry rooms and areas that can be utilized for group therapy, game night or movie night. Outside the building, the entrance’s streetscape will be inspired by a neighborhood format to continue the welcoming and home-like experience. 

With planning the renovation and design, our team was conscientious of ensuring additions are considerate of the individual’s mental health. For example, the repetition of door colors will be centered around creating calm continuity throughout the space to support various conditions. Aligning with CMHA’s mission, the design team sought out to create “intentional” work that not only creates a functional space but also one that provides clients with a comfortable home during the transitional stage of their life.