Colour: Urban Design Ltd working with Medical Architecture and Tony Danford Consultancy wanted to challenge the grim preconceptions of a secure mental health facility when they were appointed under a PFI contract to design and oversee works for Roseberry Park in Middlesbrough.

They wanted to create somewhere that felt welcoming and respectful. They wanted all staff and patients to enjoy a pleasant environment, and they quickly found that meaningful external spaces could form the organising principle to the site and still take full account of security considerations.

Buildings are positioned within a parkland landscape so that even the most secured patient has views of nature. The NHS Foundation Trust particularly likes the variety of spaces which means patients can engage in a wide range of outdoor therapeutic activity within secure activity gardens. Each accommodation block is arranged around a series of courtyards.

Generous communal gardens, patient allotments and an all-weather pitch are all designed to support mental healing by promoting a sense of physical wellbeing. They are arranged within a gentle curving landscape framework to provide green views from all buildings whilst also defining smaller scale external spaces.

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