PVA Architecture Case Study: SCI/D Center Therapy Courtyard
Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center
Miami, FL

A core part of PVA Architecture’s mission is to ensure that all U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facilities meet, or more importantly exceed, accessibility standards for wheelchair users and others with limited mobility—whether or not the facilities serve Veterans with spinal cord injury or disease (SCI/D). We are involved in all architectural design projects at VA SCI/D Centers from start to finish: reviewing drawings, participating in design meetings, and providing our expertise in SCI/D facility design.

The renovations to the Miami SCI/D Center Courtyard provided a series of new rehabilitation training amenities, increasing options for Veterans with SCI/D to improve their wheelchair or ambulatory skills. The amenities can be used independently or with therapy staff and are blended into the perimeter of the existing courtyard to maintain open space for other passive and active recreation and group events.

New, calming colors and landscaping softened the entire courtyard and provided separation between different activity areas.


  • 20,000 sq. ft. exterior courtyard dedicated to Veterans with SCI/D.
  • New rehabilitation training amenities including:
    • Ramp
    • Curb cuts
    • Stairs
    • Wheeling surfaces
  • Equilibrium bridge
  • New shade structures.
  • New paving and landscaping throughout courtyard.

Improvements for Veterans with Disabilities:

  • Improved independent and supervised rehabilitation training.
  • Increased shaded area to mitigate the harsh climate.
  • Improved exterior recreational therapy areas.
  • Improved exterior group activity and gathering areas.

Believe our country should be barrier free for Veterans and ALL people with disabilities? Give now to support PVA’s work.