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New care facility to draw inspiration from design champions

by Kirsty Kirsty

Capability Scotland underlines exemplar approach with A&DS partnership

An agency that typically supports the design of publicly-funded projects will lend its support to a charity’s ambitious proposals that will rewrite how care is provided to those with complex needs.

Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS), Scotland’s design champion, is working with Capability Scotland to inform its architectural design brief at Bertha Park in Perth, where the charity is working to deliver a flagship £25million facility.

It is drawing on experience from other major projects as well as shaping inclusive engagement. As part of this, it is hosting a series of hands-on workshops to engage with the people who will be using and living in the new community.

Attendees include existing Upper Springland residents, Capability Scotland’s existing facility in Perth, who will be relocating to the new facility. They’ll be joined by families, staff and eventually the wider community in sessions further down the line.

A&DS will adopt workshop techniques used on other major health projects in Scotland to help establish priorities for the development, based on an understanding of the group’s needs, aspirations, desires, and visions.

The process will lead to a Design Statement, which will set out key preferences, performance objectives and benchmarks for how these might be achieved, developed specific to the community and site identified at Bertha Park, Perth.

Steve Malone, Principal Architect at Architecture and Design Scotland, said: “Good placemaking and user-led design is at the core of our work. For this project there was a great opportunity to engage with key users at the beginning of the process, and to involve them in helping to shape the designs at an early stage.

“An important part of the collaborative workshop approach uses images of exemplar projects and spaces to prompt discussion and capture ideas for what good design looks like.

“By capturing key statements from the people that will be using the building, and drawing on examples and evidence from other sectors, we can help inform a development brief that reflects the actual user needs.

“It’s a collaborative process which works with key users to help define places.”

Feedback on the process will be collected from key users to ensure it reflects their input.

The workshops will form the base information of how the building should work and will feed into the design brief for the project’s architects.

Stephen Oswald, Capability Scotland Project Lead, said: “We have a rare opportunity to start with a blank canvas and completely re-imagine our services to create a leading facility that pushes the boundaries of housing and care for people with complex needs.

“That’s why we were exceptionally keen to engage with A&DS as they are experts in the industry and have tried and tested approaches to engage with relevant stakeholders.

“It’s the ideal partnership for this project as when we refer to an exemplar service, we believe this should encompass the whole process and A&DS are the design champions for the built environment.

“Through sharing our experience and knowledge we will challenge stereotypes of what is possible for disabled people and ensure we are achieving equality in all aspects of life – with key stakeholders making the decisions from the outset.”

The Upper Springland campus, on Isla Road, has three registered care homes and offers residential and respite care to 59 adults with physical disabilities and learning disabilities. There is also a day service – as well as a hydrotherapy pool, theatre and walled gardens.

Located just over four miles from Upper Springland, Bertha Park is a major expansion of Perth, with new homes, community facilities, workplaces, landscaped open ground and integrated infrastructure including footpaths and cycle routes.

For more information on Capability Scotland’s ambitions at Bertha Park, please visit: https://www.capability.scot/about/bertha-park

Architecture and Design Scotland is Scotland’s design agency, set up and funded by the Scottish Government. It provides leadership and advice on how Scotland’s places are planned, designed, delivered and sustained.

For more information on A&DS, visit: https://www.ads.org.uk/

Image depicts Stephen Oswald, Capability Scotland Project Lead.

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