Images by Joe Harrison, JH photography Inc.


SUN Behavioral Health


Erlanger, Ky.


NK Architects

SUN Behavioral Health facility, designed by NK Architects, is part of the St. Elizabeth Healthcare system. The new facility was built to fill a critical need to help patients with mental illness and substance abuse disorders in the Kentucky region.

The two-story facility includes eight inpatient units and 197 beds for children, adolescents and adults. Each unit’s inpatient rooms, day rooms, exam rooms, consult rooms, support spaces and secure courtyards are arranged in a V-shaped wing that permits direct views to patient rooms from the nurses station. The nurses stations are designed with wide counters instead of full partitions, providing safety to staff with dignity given to patients.

The efficient V-shaped design also creates a variety of social spaces for the patients, from intimate two-person settings at the narrow end to open areas where several people can gather. Daylight emanates from group rooms that anchor each wing and connect to the outdoors.

The facility includes wraparound services, such as outpatient, emergency department, physical therapy, gym, dining, activity, training and outreach spaces, which are located in the first floor central core.