Dec 20, 2021

2021: Reflecting on a year of achievements

2021: Reflecting on a year of achievements.

As the year draws to a close, it is a great time to reflect on our achievements over the past twelve months. It’s been a big one, so here goes…

This year marked our 30-year anniversary as a practice and we were very grateful to be able to celebrate this special occasion with many of our clients, collaborators, friends and former colleagues. The retirement of our company founder Christopher Shaw provided a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the incredible journey we’ve been on, and to look forward to exciting opportunities that lie ahead.

National Forensic Mental Health Hospital – County Dublin, Ireland

This year saw the completion of several projects which will make a positive impact on the provision of healthcare in their communities. The £160m National Forensic Mental Health Hospital in Portrane, County Dublin has been designed—with Scott Tallon Walker Architects—to play a pivotal role in the transformation of mental health services in Ireland. Similarly, our £6m redevelopment of Whitby Hospital will change the way that healthcare is provided in this historic coastal town, integrating health and social care to support wellbeing and quality of life. We look forward to sharing more on these stories next year.

Northgate Hospital – Morpeth, UK

We’re excited about several projects currently under construction, which have made excellent progress in 2021. The new medium secure mental health facility at the heart of a £60m redevelopment of Northgate Hospital in Morpeth, will provide a wide variety of indoor and outdoor therapeutic environments for relaxation and activity, relieving boredom and lowering the risk of challenging behaviours and poor physical health. Having recently commenced on site, our £8m inpatient eating disorders unit at St Ann’s Hospital in Dorset has been carefully designed to preserve the quality of its natural wooded setting and create a uniquely private and therapeutic environment for inpatients.

Eating Disorders Unit – Dorset, UK

We’re also excited about a number of healthcare projects at concept design stage that we look forward to sharing more about in 2022. They include our work with Sheppard Robson on the £580m North Manchester General Hospital, one of eight Pathfinder hospitals being built through the New Hospitals Programme, as well as our proposed £135m New Specialist Hospital building at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne, designed to be the Trust’s first BREEAM Outstanding rated facility. We have also seen an expanding workload in North America, providing continued opportunities to apply our knowledge and experience internationally.

New Specialist Hospital Building – Newcastle, UK

A building’s completion is just the start of its story, and we remain focused on evaluating post-occupancy performance, so that lessons can be applied to future work. That is why it has been so encouraging to see the positive impact that our recently completed Blossom Court mental health inpatient unit (£25m), has had on its patients and staff this year. Since completion, the Trust has reported that compared to the previous accommodation, seclusion and rapid tranquilisation of patients has significantly reduced, while physical restraint has almost entirely stopped, allowing better focus on patient recovery. This has contributed to a string of accolades for the building this year, including Health category winner at the SPACES Awards, Building Project of the Year over £10m at the SECBE Constructing Excellence Awards, and a High Commendation at the European Healthcare Design Awards.

Blossom Court, St Ann’s Hospital – London, UK

Of course, all of this has been made possible by the outstanding efforts of our committed team over the last twelve months. Our numbers have grown this year to 48, and every single person deserves immense praise for the way they have adapted to the new ways of working which we have implemented this year and the excellent quality of service they have continued to offer our clients in often challenging circumstances.

North Manchester General Hospital – Designed by Sheppard Robson with Medical Architecture

Finally, behind the scenes, we have been working on the development of a brand-new website, to be launched in the new year. Working with design agency Rabbit Hole, we have created a digital space which represents the spirit of our practice and the values that continue to be the cornerstone of our approach. We can’t wait to share more on this in 2022.

Until then, we would like to say a huge thank you to all the clients, collaborators, and supporters that we have worked with this year. Those relationships continue to be an important part of the love for what we do, and we look forward to sharing your pride in creating the best possible healthcare, in the year ahead.

We wish you a wonderful festive period and a happy New Year.

Bob, Lianne, Paul, Ruairi and the team.

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