Madness of the City
In recent years, the social attitude towards mental health has shifted. With conversations surrounding mental illness growing, the healthcare model and its architecture is comparably stagnant. Through the interrogation of the ‘urbanicity’ effect and current mental health care typologies, the direct correlation between mental illness and the city is dissected. Therefore, we question whether the city could become a solution to the UK’s current mental health crisis.
Our three design strategies will address this through an urban scheme with our Journey of mental health referral, a masterplan and the Stepping Stone, our new mental health typology all with the final aim of destigmatising mental heath in our Mad City of Manchester. The Stepping Stone comprises of five key elements the Gateway and Café, the Sanctuary, the Day Centre, the Acute in Patient ward and the Crèche with family Accommodation. The function of these key spaces is displayed through their architectural language. The Gateway and Sanctuary are spaces of reflection and therefore take a more sculptural form, creating landmarks within the masterplan for legibility, to make mental health more visible. The Café, Day Centre, Acute In-patient ward and Crèche display a sophisticated and well mannered architecture that responds to the more clinical functions of these spaces.
Throughout the design, connection to nature is emphasised with a series of courtyards, terraces and the Sanctuary, to support traditional therapy with green healing. The Stepping Stone centralises around user interaction and their unique mental health requirements, in accordance with protagonist flow.
This holistic mental healthcare provision in a city-centre setting is unprecedented and therefore challenges both the current healthcare and architectural models. Although this typology would require significant funding, specialist consultation suggests that an intermediary healthcare intervention with this approach could provide sorely needed support to the current failures within the UK psychiatric health care model.
Hans van der Heijden
Jack Dunne, Katerina Antonopoulou, Dr John Whitehead, Dr Michael Farrall, Rhiannon Corcoran, Graham Marshall