28 May 2012
Pick Everard’s Care Home Design wins 2012 Healthcare Award
Pick Everard’s architectural design for a Nottingham care home recently won Best Small Redevelopment Project in the 2012 Pinders Healthcare Design Awards, held annually to showcase the very best in care home design and independent living housing.
First purpose-built in 1989, Wren Hall is a family owned, independent sector care home for 40 residents with dementia and has an excellent reputation for high quality, person-centred care. The aim was to transform the care home to accommodate the ‘group living’ model, (Dr Christine Kovach 1997), extend capacity and facilities, allowing management and staff to deliver ever improving standards of care, privacy and dignity.
A more positive, welcoming entrance to Wren Hall now opens into more spacious accommodation giving care home residents a group living experience at the four different stages of dementia. Four distinct living areas, each with kitchen, dining and lounge areas, are styled to the needs of each stage. Residents can move freely from one lounge to another and choose where they feel most comfortable, can easily access living, dining and bedroom accommodation and have unrestricted access to a large garden area. The extension has created two additional wings; one, on the site of the former car park, a day centre and kitchen providing first class catering facilities for residents and visitors, the second houses 22 individual bedrooms each with en-suite WC and wet room and lounge accommodation overlooking gardens and an orchard. New facilities also include a day room, training & conference suite and bath & shower room.
Large glazed areas provide plenty of natural light and combined with the design treatment of walls and furnishings, compensate for the cognitive disability affecting those with dementia. With increased light levels, colour is more defined so by avoiding confusing 3D patterns and using vibrant colours, walls, floors, seating are more clearly differentiated.
Designed as a low energy building, renewable technologies are integral. Air source heat pumps work in tandem with heat exchangers, extracting hot air from bathrooms to warm incoming fresh air, circulated using an under floor heating system. Low energy lighting meets current regulations and standards and reduces total energy required overall. The timber frame construction is packed with insulation at much higher levels than required by Building Regulations, and so retains heat generated by renewable technologies, saving energy and money compared to traditional construction.
Aesthetically, it was important to integrate the extension sympathetically with the existing estate, articulating the building design to ensure the existing hall, 80’s extension and the new buildings appeared cohesive. Building materials; red brick, smooth render and cedar shingles were carefully selected by Pick Everard to match and skilfully applied to extensions.
Anita Astle, at Wren Hall Care Home comments, “Combining lounge and dining areas with safe, accessible kitchenettes gives our residents better understanding of their surroundings. They can move about freely, from sitting to eating areas, prepare food and drinks and are meaningfully occupied in one living space. This prevents them ‘going off’ to search and wander. As a result, their ability to do things increases and they are more active. Doing normal everyday things like washing up, ironing, baking, sweeping up and gardening improves their sense of self worth and well being. Residents spend much more time smiling and engaging positively with others than previously. The quantity and frequency of incidents of distressed reaction or challenging behaviour displayed by residents has dramatically reduced following the creation of a far more engaging and enabling environment. Residents seem to choose the lounge which corresponds to their assessed ‘stage of experience’ of dementia; suggesting that we’ve embraced Kovach’s group matching accurately and effectively. “
Paul Rothera, Director at Pick Everard adds, “Seeing the positive affect that our building design has made for these residents and for the staff is very satisfying. We’re very proud of this project and delighted to see the Wren Hall project win this healthcare award.”
Pick Everard is currently working on the construction of two, new 32-bed care homes in Wales for Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.