The new High Care clinic is located on an estate amidst other psychiatric care departments. Behind a relatively closed street facade, a protected world is hidden, in direct contact with the surrounding landscape. Walls extend inwards at various points, blurring the boundaries between inside and outside. The floor pattern in the corridors and common areas is also a continuation of the outdoor design.
Sequence of Spaces
To enhance orientation and experience, and to avoid a clinical corridor, no corridor wall runs parallel to its opposite. A strip of glass in the roof guides a light and pleasant meandering route, which opens up the communal and therapeutic areas. Through the design and proportions, this corridor will completely lose its association with a traditional one and instead form a sequence of spaces. It is remarkable that the heart of the building is the brightest place, where views, daylight, and greenery establish a natural connection.
Views of the Landscape and Gardens
There are 3 clusters, each with 12 spacious rooms. Each room has a large window with views of the landscape and gardens. In addition to a private sanitary cell, the room is furnished with fixed furniture, so it does not need to be evacuated in case of emergencies. Furthermore, this building offers a series of alternatives to seclusion: private room, peelable room, comfort room, special care unit (SCU), and finally, the traditional seclusion room. The presence of an SCU is an important addition: it provides the same level of safety as a seclusion room but without the oppressive characteristics.
Attractive and Comfortable
To prevent the need for seclusion, clients are given freedom of movement: they can choose to stay in their rooms, go to the large communal area, sit in the garden, or visit the dining kitchen, etc. The design’s fundamental principle was to create a living environment that is attractive and comfortable despite all the limitations, and does not resemble a closed institution. The use of natural materials, ample daylight, accent colors, and transparency contribute to a tranquil and identity-filled communal living space that is fully connected with nature. Combined with the individual rooms, this creates a pleasant stay for the clients, offering a humane living environment for those whose freedom is restricted.