The scheme is for a 69no. bed dementia care home to be adopted by Brunelcare, upon the site of an existing care facility, within a residential district of Bristol. The proposed building, designed by Penoyre & Prasad, is cruciform in shape and two storeys high. Four wings are served from a central circulation hub and all benefit from direct access to external space.
Enzygo were commissioned to work alongside the Swedish visual artist, Kerstin Bergendal, to develop a landscape strategy for the site, to fulfil planning objectives and the specification for a design & build contract.
What We Did
We set out to consult and collaborate with both the conventional design team and anyone we felt would be affected by, or could positively impact upon the design process and/or its outcome. This included Brunelcare staff at all levels, the consultant physiotherapist, current residents, neighbours to the site, the local community and industry experts. In addition, we sought a close working relationship with Midas, the D&B contractor, to explore a more economic and innovative working model.
Through the consultation process, coupled with extensive research, we developed an intimate understanding for the operational requirements of the institution and a clear idea for the potential of the landscape to play a positive role in the lives of residents, visitors and staff.
This model illustrates an outline design responding to consultation workshops and research
Design Principles and Key Features
Alongside the standard objectives for a scheme; to create a safe, attractive and stimulating environment, we wanted to create a non institutional setting and an invitation for all residents to participate actively in the landscape. This philosophy was borne in recognition of the fact that residents leave everything behind (memory, possessions, location) and a drive to provide a familiar, welcoming and interesting environment as a replacement. Our aspiration was to create home-like environments, with opportunities for meaningful experiences, through familiar, stimulating and practical gardens, that invited participation, personalisation and evolution from future residents, families and carers. To achieve this sentiment, it was intended that the gardens would be implemented ‘unfinished’, to be evolved by the home and with cues established within the landscape to invite participation.
In addition, we sought to create a distinctly ‘public’ space, with communal facilities and a sense of destination. This area strongly relates to the neighbouring retirement village, with a controlled access between the two, encouraging a positive relationship and interaction.
The planning submission followed an innovative approach to consultation, resulting in a design that responded to best practice and the specific needs of the institution and the context. In addition, the scheme reflected detailed discussions with the local planning authority and particularly the requirements of the landscape and the arts officer.
Art submission prepared by Kerstin Bergendal; describing the collaboration and design process
Model view within building towards focal structures
Extract from Landscape Strategy; describing the fundamental scheme principles
What We Achieved / Further Work
The innovative design process borne from rigorous research and consultation with enthusiastic stakeholders, ensured a more sensitive scheme, responsive to the specific needs of the institution and the site context.
The design submitted to planning is based on the consultation to date. However, to ensure the project is owned and evolved by the institution, the intention is to continue consultation and design refinement post planning.
In addition we will work closely with the D&B contractor to ensure that the scheme is implemented in a cost effective and sensitive way.
This project provides a useful template to effective consultation, ensuring a cost effective and well used design outcome.