The reason for mental health spaces being branded ‘institutional’ and ‘prison-like’ are often due to security considerations which whilst are needed no longer need to be a barrier to good design – Kingsway Group with their Signature range explain why.
The care environment is proven to assist with aiding recovery – whilst good design on its own won’t replace timely professional interventions and treatment programs, just as sitting in a lovely clean A&E department wouldn’t fix your broken leg – Kingsway Group passionately believe that it is possible to produce supporting environments and that a new approach is needed, this created the need for the Signature range which was designed using the following steps:
Care Pathway Specific
We received feedback that the Signature ranges had to deliver clear benefits for specific care pathways to enable project teams to select a range that would suit the patient type – this complete approach we felt would provide building designers with a clearer sense of purpose when commencing a project and would allow the design to rePect the needs of the user group in the best possible way. The three care pathways that the Signature range seeks to provide solutions for are: CAMHS, LD and secure / Rehab and Adult Acute Care and Older Adult long term care. Within these pathways there are varying patient needs which need to be recognised but research and feedback shows that there are unique and distinct needs which the Signature range seeks to address in a design led approach.
The next step was to chose a design inspiration for the Signature hardware ranges and the Kingsway Group design team could draw on it’s global reach to establish three clear design styles based on iconic locations that give the background to the unique designs.
Malmo – This iconic Swedish city encapsulates the Scandinavian design ethos of simplicity, minimalism and functionality to provide the calm that is so desired in mental health care settings.
Mayfair – This location which chosen as being synonymous with chic design and trendy up-market style, a hub for boutique hotels and a life better lived.
Manhattan – The last location was selected for its rich heritage of art deco inPuence to provide a classic elegance that has so many benefits for a healing environment.
Hotel style made safe for mental health
In the hundreds of meetings with design teams since the start of Kingsway Group in 2010 we heard the constant request for our anti-ligature hardware and doorsets to create a ‘hotel feel’. This statement whilst giving us a direction needed some honing to enable actual design, our first action was to look to the hotel industry and see how they define a ‘boutique hotel’ design:
- with sense of intimacy and privacy…décor, aesthetics and attention to detail (Source 1)
- the definition of a boutique hotel could be, it is an accommodation that makes their guests feel happy and contented while staying there (Source 2)
With this research completed we now had a clear goal to work to – our next step was the hardware designs where we drew inspiration from leading architectural ironmongery manufacturers, this meant that no past anti-ligature product design was introduced to give a complete fresh start to the project.
For each range
This vision panel was designed to be recessed into the face of the door to provide a Push finish to prevent any intention or accidental self-harm. The fascia is manufactured in an oval shape to be visually pleasing and blend into the door as much as possible.
The door handle to the corridor side was also designed to be Push fitting to suit the Scandinavian design style and also add an important function for mental health settings where increased grip area is required to the staV side of a door.
The patient side thumb turn activates the privacy lock which sits Push to the door face and is non-institutional in appearance.
The door finish is a Birch aVect high-pressure laminate with horizontal wood grain for low stimulus.