Craigavon Adult Psychiatric Unit

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Craigavon Adult Psychiatric Unit
Craigavon Adult Psychiatric Unit A new adult Psychiatric Unit for the Southern Health & Social Care Trust was completed in April 2008. Known as The Bluestone Unit, the complex is designed to be welcoming and bright, with a strong emphasis on legibility for users and visitors alike. A major feature of the design is the use of protected landscaped courtyards. The site perimeter enjoys a mature landscaped setting and the wards benefit from the privacy offered by the close relationship with the landscape. The plan reveals the close intertwined relationship of internal and external space - moving from the formality of the entrance to the informality of the rear landscaped areas. The project was delivered by David Morley Architects, London in conjunction with Hall Black Douglas Architects, Belfast and with Health Estates acting as project managers. Heron Bros were the Performance Related Partnering Main Contractor. The construction cost was £11.9m. Work began on site in September 2006. Ground conditions were poor due to the site being previously filled. With load bearing capacity poor, the structural technique of lime stabilisation was employed to upgrade the ground conditions on site. This has also helped to level the site, which had a 7.5m fall across it. The unit itself comprises some 6,659sq m over a single-storey, although there is a small area of two-storey accommodation providing a day unit on the upper floor. Construction comprises cavity walls with traditional strip foundations. The various functions of the unit are contained within a series of single-storey buildings, which are individually expressed using a variety of materials, forms & roof structures. The roofs to the wards, & facilities buildings take the form of curved mono pitched roofs covered using standing seam aluminium panels whereas the roofs of the more linear public buildings toward the front of the site are set behind parapet walls. All the buildings are finished with a self-coloured render apart from the Day Hospital, which is clad using a dark grey Pelicolor rain screen cladding. The render varies in earth tone colours to differentiate the blocks and give reference. A limited amount of timber cladding is incorporated at selected areas to accentuate main entrances and patient common areas. All windows are pre-finished painted timber, double-glazed with low E coating. Suncool coating has been applied to limited areas. There are a number of areas boasting full height curtain walling, including the day room links, patient common areas and the main entrance. Circular and square rooflights are used extensively throughout the buildings to introduce natural light into internal corridors. The various functions of the facility have been separated into individually expressed buildings. The Day Hospital is located at the higher end of the site with its own separate entrance, but is linked to the outpatients department, therapy and support and main entrance at the main lower level. From here two link corridors radiate outwards connecting to the semi circular facilities building which serves the four wards beyond. There are three 18-bed adult wards and one 20-bed older persons ward, each with their own day room areas that link the bedrooms with the staff facilities block. Detail design considerations include the provision of: • A relaxing and non-intimidating patient environment • Therapeutic environment - quality of daylight, connection to landscape, delight of integrated art. • Clarity of department identity, and a simple legibility of layout for patients and visitors. • Safe detailed design for patients and staff - anti-ligature design, safety systems and space layouts Landscaping plays a key part in the design of the 74-bed unit. Situated on the site of Craigavon’s Acute Hospital but tucked away from the main complex, it is set almost in its own parkland with views toward a semi-rural landscape. The feel & appearance of the landscaping around the building changes as the room functions change from the more public areas through to the more private spaces towards the rear of the site. Larger outdoor spaces around the building’s glazed, pavilion-style connecting corridors are landscaped for group activities, with appropriate planting and seating. As one moves towards the four ward areas, the two wings both offer access to smaller, more intimate landscaped spaces, some with seating for only three or four people. All bedrooms have ensuite toilet and shower facilities and come with full-height windows that are 1.2m wide, overlooking the gardens. Within the completed building, several pieces of integrated art are installed ranging from internal glass art & wall mounted mosaic panels to external mirror & metal sculptures which have been commissioned from four individual artists. The building was designed to achieve a BREEAM excellent rating through careful attention to detail design and specification. Buro Happold acted as Structural and M&E Engineers in the technical aspects of the project. We believe this building is a unique response to the Brief and Model of Care set out by the client at the outset.

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