Stratheden Mental Health Unit Fife, Cupar Building, Scottish Project, Design, Property

Stratheden Mental Health Unit, Cupar

Fife Building, east Scotland design by Richard Murphy Architects

20 May 2011

Stratheden Mental Health Unit, Fife

Design: Richard Murphy Architects

Speirs Locks Studios
photo © Graeme Armet

Stratheden Mental Health Units

Location: Stratheden Hospital, Cupar, Fife

Client: NHS Fife

The proposals were to provide an 18 bed low security and 24 bed medium security dementia units in the grounds of NHS Fife Stratheden Hospital.

The accommodation consists of 42 single bedrooms with en-suite shower rooms and associated accommodation both for patients and staff.

The 18 bed unit is a single storey unit with bedrooms split into two wings, male and female, with communal facilities located centrally to the north to form a u-shape creating a south facing sensory garden for patients. The south edge of the garden is walled and frames the view south towards the hills beyond. The building allows for patients to wander freely around the building and into the secure garden from various points.

Speirs Locks Studios Speirs Locks Studios Speirs Locks Studios Speirs Locks Studios
photos © Graeme Armet

Access to the building is via a new footpath. Beyond the entrance double doors is the patient area with a centrally located nurse’s base. In the middle of the plan are the patient sitting and dining rooms connected by folding sliding doors and looking onto a south facing veranda and the secure garden beyond. From these two rooms the two wings are clearly visible. To the left of the main entrance is the staff area containing staff facilities and consulting rooms, access to this area is restricted.

The two wings contain all the bedrooms and en-suite shower rooms, each bedroom has a bay window with built in seating and views out onto the grounds of Stratheden. Secondary light comes into each individual room via a roof light located below the pitched roof ridge line.

Each bedroom is identifiable by individual pitched roofs giving the patients a sense of their own identity within the building. For many patients this will be their last home. All the other accommodation and circulation areas have flat roofs at different heights. The wings have small alcoves with built-in seating for patients to stop and sit and look out into the garden.

At the ends of each wing are a cluster of 4 bedrooms, assisted bathrooms and quiet areas, one for females and one for males. These rooms are south facing and give views onto the hospital grounds and the golf course and hills beyond. These quiet areas act as a destination for patients.

Finally beyond the entrance on the north elevation is the service area. A separate service path gives access to the plant area, disposal holds and further staff areas. These are also restricted to staff only.

The 24 bed unit is split into 2 wings for the different groups of patients; the wings are separated by a central spine of dual accommodation.

In each wing there are 12 single bedrooms with en-suite shower rooms, the bedrooms are located around 2 enclosed courtyards, the courtyards allow for easy and free access to the outside into a secured garden., one garden for “functional” patients and one for “organic” patients.

Access to the building is via a foot path and road which runs around the existing sycamore tree in the middle of the site. The entrance is by the sycamore giving the entrance more prominence and keeping the building foot print away from the tree will not endanger it.

Beyond the entrance and at the top of the central spine is the nurses base centrally located to give views and easy access throughout the building, the nurses base leads staff and visitors to either side of the central spine and into the wings where the routes are in a continuous loop around the courtyards, this “race track” is for the patient benefit to allow them to wander without ever coming to a dead end.

Located just off the central spine and running as part of the courtyard loops are 2 separate dining and sitting areas with a central pantry in the spine serving both wings. When the dining rooms are in use as dining rooms open doors to the “race track” are closed creating a dining room to allow staff to manage these areas while patients are dining.

The doors when patients are not dining are open to allow for the continuous loop. Both the sitting rooms and dining rooms look out into the courtyard with direct access. To the south of the courtyards are quiet rooms for patients, one for each wing, these are south facing with views to the golf course and hills beyond.

To the right hand side of the entrance is a rotunda which houses staff meeting, rest and consulting rooms these are outwith the patient areas and access for patients to this area is supervised.

To the left hand side of the entrance is the plant and service area with access to services and utility rooms.

Stratheden Mental Health Unit – Building Information

Location: Stratheden Hospital, Cupar, Fife
Architect: Richard Murphy Architects
Client: NHS Fife
Contractor: Interserve Project Services
Structural Engineer: URS Corporation
Contract Value: £5m
Date of completion: May 2010
Gross internal area: 2,300 sqm

Stratheden Hospital Building images / information from Richard Murphy Architects

Richard Murphy Architects

Location: Stratheden Hospital, Cupar, Fife, Scotland

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