CLIENTUnited Service Organizations
SERVICESMaster Planning, New Construction, Interiors, Workplace Strategy
LOCATIONBethesda, MD & Fort Belvoir, VA
SIZE16,200 & 25,000 sq ft
STATUSCompleted 2013, 2014
In 2009, STUDIOS was selected by the United Service Organizations (USO)to design a new family center. Following a strong start to the design of the USO Family Center at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, STUDIOS was selected again by the USO to design a similar new building at Fort Belvoir.
The Fort Belvoir USO Family Center provides amenities, services and administrative support to wounded warriors, their next of kin, and extended family members. The project includes reception, gathering and multipurpose spaces, communal kitchen facilities, game rooms, lounges, and administrative office space. Given the sensitive nature of the project, and its location on the historic campus, STUDIOS is coordinating design with the State Historic Preservation Officer, National Capital Planning Commission, as well as the Naval Medical Center design guidelines and Anit-Terrorism/Force Protection criteria.
The USO Family Center in Bethesda has a similar program, and the design of the project focuses on the Wounded Warrior and Family Experience. The design speaks to a “Sense of Home” for its occupants while maintaining a connection to nature. With warriors from all over the country now 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.”
Both projects were funded entirely with private donations.
STUDIOS conducted a visioning sessions with USO leadership and a steering group to clarify the overall direction for the projects, 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.
Awards and Press
- AIA DC Presidential Citation for Design & Wellbeing - 2015 —
- Contract Magazine Inspirations Award, Honorable Mention - 2015 —
- ‘A Worry-Free Zone’: Wounded Warriors Discuss the Value of the USO Warrior and Family Center at Bethesda - USO —
- USO Plans Family Centers at Bethesda, Belvoir - U.S. Department of Defense —
- USO Warrior & Family Center / STUDIOS architecture - Architecture Lab —