Glenside Health Campus
An innovative first for the integration of mental health and substance abuse services.
South Australia Health
Swanbury Penglase Architects
Glenside Health Campus is a 130-bed integrated mental health and substance abuse facility, which forms a strong connection to its local community. Jointly designed with Adelaide-based, Swanbury Penglase Architects, the facility is a place of refuge and healing that fosters patient autonomy.
Part of a major strategic investment, the scheme was the first in South Australia to combine mental health and substance abuse services, leading to international recognition.
Demystifying a previously stigmatised service
A major aim of the brief was to destigmatize the existing psychiatric hospital site by creating a facility that would integrate with the wider community. Our site masterplan achieves this by locating the mental health services amongst retail, commercial, housing, and public precincts within a permeable new community.
Informed by extensive consultation and interactive workshops with user groups, stakeholders and the general public, the health facility is designed to resemble a small village set within a park landscape. Each ward is designed around a courtyard to provide readily accessible and safe outdoor space. This negates the need for secure fences, creating a positive identity.
The most significant mental health and substance abuse project in South Australia in decades.
Therapeutic environments inside and out
In forming the arrangement of spaces, we facilitated a rethink in operational policy by inverting the assumed model of a single building with a central hospital street. Instead, we organized the accommodation around a “village green” to create a positive focal point for patients. This provides a space for a variety of wellness activities and helped to reduce the perceived size of the facility.
The intimate scale of the building, the quality of the interior environments, and the close connection to the retained mature landscape, create a welcoming sequence of healing spaces.
More than 20 stakeholder groups were involved in the design process, with approximately 200 meetings with staff, consumers, carers and the local community.
The transition from an outdated asylum style of care, to a modern, flexible environment which provides mental health consumers and staff with a space to promote healing and recovery, is transforming how we provide mental health care.
Diversity of accommodation to build confidence
Developed with clear zoning, accommodation was carefully organized to provide graded privacy and security to support a sequential, recovery-based model of care.
Inpatient units are designed with ‘private’ on-ward activities and secure gardens for safe refuge, with the opportunity for patients to access more open and public spaces as they recover.