International Perspectives & Insights

Changing the status quo requires evidence and persistence – and partnership with a client also seeking a better way.
The incredible journey to rebuild Tiaho Mai, the 76-bed acute mental health unit at Middlemore Hospital, was the outcome of two strands of research ­that converged in 2014 to deliver a landmark project for New Zealand. Klein’s research into new architectural models started in 2011 and found expression in two preceding projects. Meanwhile key management and clinical staff of Counties Manukau Health’s (CM Health) acute mental health team were consulting extensively with their stakeholders to redesign their acute pathway and rebuild Tiaho Mai.

A North American architect designing hospitals for a variety of climatic conditions recently received an interesting inquiry form a UK-based colleague who wrote: “As our temperatures increase in the UK because of global warming, our buildings are not equipped to deal with this, a particular issue for patients with a mental health inpatient unit.  What lessons could we learn from those of you in hotter climes?  How do you cope with this?  Another area of interest is outside space, how it is used and accessed by inpatients.”
Mr. Pitts will address how variable and extreme climates can influence the design of space, including outdoor space, in environments created for caring for those suffering from mental illness.

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