HLP are currently involved in research on how the built and natural environment can be shaped to help wellbeing, in conjunction with Liverpool John Moores University. The design principles demonstrate how the natural and built environment can support elderly people or those suffering with dementia, including:-
- network of spatial hierarchies that encourage social interaction, allow easy access and movement
- a rich variety of experience promoting enjoyment for all sections of the community, bringing the community together and enabling awareness and understanding
- cultural and symbolic cues
- legibility and orientation, through landmarks, edges, nodes, private and social spaces
- safety and security through sensitively designed boundaries and edges
- calming and relaxing views
- changes through time and season in appearance and structure of planting.
At the University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM) we worked closely with the client body to establish a ‘Greenprint’ aimed at creating a landscape framework to provide physical and psychological benefit for staff, patients and visitors. Development of the ‘Greenprint’ was an interactive process involving a steering group comprising representatives of staff, patients, volunteers and the maintenance contractor. Our work has involved the detailed design and installation of courtyard gardens for people with dementia at the hospital, which also support the sustainable ethos of UHSM as ‘Britain’s Greenest Hospital’.
HLP assisted UHSM in preparing funding applications from the Kings Fund ‘Enhancing the Healing Environment Programme’ with a focus on developing supportive design for people with dementia, and a successful public appeal for funding of a Pediatrics department garden by Manchester’s local radio station Key 103.
The courtyard gardens provide accessible, peaceful shared amenity spaces that provide delightful visual amenity to the enclosing wards.