In 2009 STUDIOS was selected by the USO (United Service Organizations) to design a new building that provides amenities, services and administrative support to wounded warriors and their family members. Program functions include reception, gathering and multipurpose spaces, kitchen facilities, amenities such as gamerooms and lounges, and administrative office space.
To gain a better understanding of the needs of the wounded warriors, STUDIOS conducted a visioning session with USO Leadership and a Steering Group to clarify the overall direction for the project, objectives, and alignment with future goals. STUDIOS also conducted interviews and focus groups with wounded warriors, their families, medical personnel, and key constituents to define the spaces, accessibility requirements, security requirements, and other support needs.
Given the sensitive nature of the project, and its location on the historic campus, STUDIOS coordinated the design with the State Historic Preservation Officer, National Capital Planning Commission, as well as the Naval Medical Center design guidelines and Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection criteria.
The design goals of the project focused on the Wounded Warrior and Family Experience. The design speaks to a “Sense of Home” for its occupants with a strong connection to the outdoor environment and natural elements. With warriors from all over the country utilizing the facility, STUDIOS designed the project for universal appeal. Key to the facility are spaces for the soldiers to “opt out” of activities and spend time alone. Spaces for respite include arts and education spaces, quiet rooms and the outdoor “healing garden.”