atrium-icon-sheet arrow caret arrow-head-up arrow-head-down reorder external-link back up down info check-circled block restart attention warning error help flag mug cursor quaver file edit copy notification wrench person person-small add capped-person folder-person stack document pin search reblog multimedia palette email google-play like download-to-disk lock cart banknote-euro kite mood-skills mood-graph online-counselling cloud phone folded tag price-tag-euro euro info-centre download upload link branch play-circled article-circled graduation-cap-outlined exam-outlined speech-bubble video-subtitle video-camera table off home statistics clock zoom-in calendar newspaper filter send group gallery card wallet folder zip dna legal select circle-outlined check zoom share image adobe-ai adobe-ps adobe-ae adobe-pr adobe-id adobe-au video menu hexagon more close graph plus Directional Turn2Me eCurve Symbols & Actions UI Controls Emoticons Files, documents, media & folders Objects & pseudo objects Time Finance & Commerce Geometrical Text & Editors Humans, Animals & Emojis Messaging Logos Devices Map, Transport & Location support-group headset headset-mic check-all roadsign badge suitcase print chats message facebook twitter pinterest tumblr linkedin google-plus youtube delicious instagram laptop mobile tablet apple circle location airplane globe delete cog-complex star square triangle history feeling-great feeling-good feeling-okay feeling-bad feeling-terrible feeling-fail diamond octagon cursor-click cursor-default aca-i-logo-1_1

Modern Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) Design

Project Specifications

Location: Tameside, Greater Manchester

Client: Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

Year: 2018

Status: Design

Project Type: New Build

Project Value: £3.56m

Project Scope

ACA outlined a high-quality, detailed design proposal for a new build modern Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) located at Tameside, Greater Manchester.

In effect, the design was for a 12-bed single gender PICU on behalf of Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust. A flexible design was essential to allow for changing clinical models and advancing medical technologies. The brief was to create a modern recovery-focused environment around people, to increase efficiency and stability.


Design Approach

The aim of the design was to address behavioral health conditions with the use of positive distractions appropriated within the physical environment.


Inclusive PICU Layout Design

ACA carefully considered the building layout as the most significant design feature due to its effect on all aspects of critical care services. Equally important was the division of the spaces to ensure privacy and dignity.  Furthermore, ACA’s design focus supports the identity and autonomy of personal space. Moreover, spaces were assigned for staff to engage with residents and easy access to outdoor areas.


Choice of Materials

Abundant natural light and low noise levels were smartly achieved with the choice of impactful materials. This creates a pleasant environment and atmosphere to support the healing process of the patients. For this, ACA selected white architectural masonry and white render for texture and tactile properties. A biophilic green wall and a subtle composition of coloured block glazing add interest to the front entrance and courtyard elevations.


Colour Therapy

The selected colours were not only for symbolic purposes but were also inspired by the local context. For example, warm yellows to symbolise the opening of the mind, a pale orange to wake up residents’ inner potential and a vivid green to reduce tension and stress. ACA believes in creating an association of the physical environment to its natural surroundings.  In addition, this creates a truly therapeutic environment which eventually aids improvements in mental health and overall well-being.


Art Installation

Similarly, local landmarks such as the Aston canal subtly influenced the interior colour scheme and theme for the art installations. Individualized art installations for each bedroom contributes to remembrance and memory to their wider surroundings. Also, this supports a strong sense of self and a sense of belonging.