Location:
Birmingham, UK

Client:
Northern Birmingham Mental Health NHS Trust (now Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust)

Roles:
Lead Consultant and Architect

Value:
£9,000,000

Status:
Completed January 2002

Awards:
Building Better Healthcare Awards 2002: Highly Commended – Best Designed Hospital

Project description:
The reprovision of Highcroft Hospital followed the development of successful community-based centres elsewhere in the area. The new Hospital was intended as a catalyst for change in the ethos of service’s asylum-based model where emphasis is on integration of design with service principles, a focus is on respect of  dignity, privacy and self-determination during crisis, treatment and rehabilitation.

The development is made up of the following new buildings:

  • 28 bed Older Adult Assessment Unit supplemented by a 20 place Day Hospital.
  • 26 bed High Dependency Unit with direct areas to a core activity centre.
  • 13 bed Rehabilitation Unit providing self-contained hotel style flats.

In order to reconfigure the site, new buildings were located on the periphery of the surrounding community to integrate with the urban context and other new on-site developments. Graduated and controlled territory is central to the successful design and operation of this modern mental health building. We took great care in delineating the public spaces forums semi-public spaces and personal territory where you can retreat, be safe and concentrate without being disturbed by others.

Jonathan Wilson from the Journal for Healthcare Design & Development reported he: “found a refreshing design approach allowed to flourish despite the obstacles of PFI.  This is a truly delightful piece of work. It resonates with playfulness, colour, nature and in places a friendly monumentality.”

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