Psychiatric Ward Refurbishment – Villa 7 & 8

Northgate Hospital, Morpeth, Northumberland, UK

Laing O’Rourke and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Lead Consultant and Architect


Villa 7 completed May 2010 Villa 8 completed December 2010

Project description:
Villas 7 and 8 sit in the heart of Northgate Hospital and provide two 12 bed Assessment and Treatment units for people with ill mental health. Whilst retaining their original use, this project involves their refurbishment to reprovide the outdated and inadequate buildings, bringing them up to modern standards. Each Villa is a 12 bedroom single-sex ward for patients with both learning disabilities and mental health problems. Villa 7 is for female patients and Villa 8 for male.

Two single storey extensions allow new entrance and visitor facilities so that the existing ward enclosures can be dedicated to the residents, allowing the necessary privacy and operational management. The addition of a lift allows all bedroom accommodation at first floor to be more easily accessible. The constraints of the buildings meant accommodation had to be split between 2 floors. Day-space, dining, activity, therapy and other associated rooms are all located on the ground floor with good access to south facing gardens.

The proposed new extensions and alterations have arisen from a detailed consideration of the internal layout of each building, following consultation with the hospital management. A contrasting approach was taken to the external appearance, allowing colour to be incorporated to assist with identity and wayfinding. An architectural language has been developed for these works and other small works interventions nearby which aim to be robust and contemporary, giving them a family appearance to sit alongside the two distinct earlier periods of development evident on the hospital site.

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