A trio of accolades at the Design in Mental Health Awards
We enjoyed a successful night at the Design in Mental Health 2023 Awards, picking up three major accolades, alongside some very worthy winners.
The Design in Mental Health Awards are considered nationally as the most prestigious awards for the design and build community in mental healthcare, celebrating excellence and the latest innovations in the field.
National Forensic Mental Health Service Hospital, which we designed in collaboration with Scott Tallon Walker Architects, picked up two awards. Firstly, Project of the Year – New Build International, an award which recognises the outstanding project of the year, demonstrating innovation, creativity and excellent team working.
Representing a national step-change in normalised facilities for secure mental health, the hospital exploits the therapeutic value of nature in a discreetly secure setting which promotes the recovery of patients. The hospital is laid out as a series of single storey pavilion buildings around a pedestrianised ‘village green’ with a variety of spaces for meaningful activity. The arrangement achieves intuitive wayfinding through a site-wide narrative of colour, art, and landscaping.
The project also picked up the Outside Space of the Year Award, which is awarded to an outside space in a mental health environment which demonstrates healing, therapeutic and care benefits. The hospital provides a variety of therapeutic outside spaces which prioritise independent service-user access in a normalised environment, with an absence of secure fences. This includes the landscaped ‘village green’, an external horticultural area, and a large, scented, ornamental garden. Each ward also has a central courtyard for respite; a visitor courtyard; an active courtyard for informal sport games, and discrete seclusion gardens.
This new forensic hospital represents a huge step forward for this country and will help to ensure that our citizens are cared for in the best way possible.
Our third accolade came in the Low Cost – High Impact category, which is awarded to a project which has been financially prudent, but has had significant impact on improving patient care, wellbeing, safety, or the healing environment. We received the award for our replanting of a courtyard garden at Blossom Court, the mental health inpatient building we completed in 2020 for Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust. The cost to return the garden to its former glory was relatively low, however the social value delivered through the improved wellbeing of patients, was significant.
A big thank you to everyone that helped make these projects a success, and our congratulations to all of the winners on the night.
To have been recognised for excellence and innovation by such an experienced panel of experts and community peers is very pleasing, and testament to the hard work and commitment of a large group of companies and individuals that worked with us in the delivery of these projects.