Townend Court in Hull is a Learning Disability Unit that nurtures the individual needs of its service-users, with the aim of rehabilitation and re-introduction into society. Townend Court has set a new precedent for the delivery of acute services for people with learning disabilities. Currently there are no specific guidelines for the development or provision of environments for people with learning disabilities.
The design deliberately takes a very domestic approach to eliminate the clinical look and bring a homely feel whilst being operational from a clinical perspective.
During treatment, patients gradually progress through the three sections of the unit: assessment, treatment and preparation for return to the community. ACA conscientiously designed the most private and secure areas at the rear of the development and the more interactive, social and public-facing areas at the front.
Roof lights, glass screens and high-level glazing are used to feed natural light into the building and aid with observation. Where corridors are traditionally narrow, they have been opened up to enhance sight lines and aid with orientation.
Each section of the building enjoys a corresponding courtyard, enhanced by the well-thought-out landscape design. A combination of planters, herbaceous plants and synthetic turf provide staff, visitors and service-users with therapeutic and stimulating external areas. The courtyards are carefully designed to provide a warm, welcoming space which can accommodate and encourage activities such as walking, sitting, exercising and gardening.