Design With a Purpose: A Peek Inside the New Veteran Wellness Center
Last Updated: 29 Oct 2021
Veterans Support & Mental Health Careecho $minutes. " Minute Read"?>
The magic of San Antonio’s new Veteran Wellness Center is in the details. Take a peek inside our soon-to-open facility!
At Endeavors, we believe that wellness is so much more than just physical health. Wellness is multi-faceted. It’s prismatic. The way it shows up in each life is so individual and so unique—which is why we built our Veteran Wellness Center around 6 Pillars of Wellness: Mind-Body, Connectedness, Spiritual, Economic, Knowledge, and Environmental.
When it came to designing the actual Veteran Wellness Center facilities, the Environmental principle was key. This pillar is founded on the idea that the space you spend your time in should be beautiful.
Therefore, when creating the VWC, we wanted to pour our resources and energy into creating a place where people love spending their time.
As we grow closer and closer to opening our brand-new, state-of-the-art Veteran Wellness Center in San Antonio, we can’t help but share some of the gorgeous finishing touches that make this place so incredibly beautiful.
To learn more, we spoke with our Director of Wellness, Kimberly Anderson. As an advocate for wellness throughout the Endeavors organization, Kimberly oversees all aspects of wellness for the Endeavors Veteran Wellness Center.
Let’s talk about 6 key details that make the VWC so special!
1. Transparency Is Key
From the moment you walk into the VWC, one thing is apparent: natural light is a big deal. Throughout the building, huge windows welcome in the ample Texas sunshine.
But the meaning behind all the glass goes deeper than just that: “We are trying to convey the idea of transparency within our organization,” said Kimberly. “You can see from front to back—we aren’t hiding things.”
Another layer? The ability to see far and wide is a trauma-informed approach to comfort. “A lot of Veterans in our community really appreciate when they can see their surroundings completely,” said Kimberly.
2. Greenery With a Purpose
Why so much greenery in our building? Well, all the plants in the VWC were selected and placed for very specific reasons. For example—a wall of snake plants sits on the 2nd floor landing. These plants are very efficient air filters and help to blow down fresh oxygen into the downstairs connection area.
The circle of moss on the second floor is one of our favorite pieces. “It represents our wellness model, which is also a circle,” said Kimberly. “Wellness is something you consistently work on and there isn’t a place where you’re supposed to start or end— it’s a journey.”
3. A Seat at the Table
The furniture we selected for the various community areas were also very intentional. We tried to use an informed approach: how can we accommodate as many people as possible?
“We wanted to offer a variety of seating heights to accommodate people in a permanent seated position or who depend on prosthetics. Having varied seating allows for folks with different prosthetic placements to be comfortable, as well as people of short or tall stature, people who are wanting to stand more, or folks with back issues,” said Kimberly.
4. Bringing the Outside in
The VWC’s textures and details include a lot of natural elements: stones, greenery, wood finishes, etc. Why?
“These textures are all the nuanced ways we connect to the environment. They’re all very intentional environmental pieces to give your mind those cues that we are bringing the outside in and that we want to be a part of that environmental space,” said Kimberly.
5. Wide, Open Spaces
The layout of the VWC is anything but cramped—each space flows into the next with minimal obstruction. According to Kimberly, this open feel promotes the ability to connect with the people around you…even if you’re not interacting. “Sometimes, especially in the Veteran and military culture, people want to be around people but not talking to people. This space allows for that kind of comfortable closeness while still retaining anonymity.”
6. Functional Fitness
When you walk into the fitness area, you’ll notice that there are two main areas: the main workout area with equipment and machines, and then a smaller, more private fitness space. Kimberly explained that the designers wanted two specific options: a place for quiet and meditative fitness and a place for more upbeat fitness activities.
“We knew we wanted the small fitness space to have a different feel. We wanted a zen feel of being a calm space. You have a space for workout and high-energy output and a place to rest and recover as well. There’s a synergy there,” she said.
A Place for Veterans
These are just a few of the details that make the Veteran Wellness Center so incredibly unique. Overall, we sought to make this place one that felt like “home” to Veterans and clients of all kinds.
“The facility is a lot like San Antonio—large and vast-feeling, but when you get inside it feels like home. And the people are great,” said Kimberly.
From mental health to physical health to holistic health, this center will offer Veterans many services that will help them improve their quality of life, as well as the quality of life for their families, military dependents, and the care community. And services are provided regardless of era of service, discharge status, or family member role!
Endeavors is a longstanding national non-profit that provides an array of programs and services in support of children, families, Veterans, and those struggling with mental illness and other disabilities. Endeavors serves vulnerable people in crisis through innovative personalized services. For more information, please visit www.endeavors.org