Heathlands Care Centre
Arcadis IBI Group led the design of Heathlands Care Centre in Bracknell in southern England. We provided architecture, landscape and interior design services for the 66-bed facility, which offers both long-term dementia care and an intermediate care unit for people transitioning between hospital and home.
ClientBracknell Forest Council, Frimley Heath Foundation Trust, Frimley CCG
A care home designed for holistic wellbeing
Arcadis IBI Group drew on principles of salutogenic design to support resident wellbeing at the Heathlands Care Centre. This approach emphasizes design elements promoting wellness, contrasting with a standard “pathogenic” approach in healthcare settings focused mainly on illness and injury.
This holistic and positive design outlook, which also reflected significant end-user engagement, aligned with our clients’ goals of reducing prolonged hospital stays, improving patient care, and alleviating strain on hospital services. Bracknell Forest Council, the local government, and two National Health Service (NHS) bodies, the NHS Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group, and Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, commissioned our work on the new facility.
Our design for Heathlands clusters sets of 10 bedrooms around meaningful communal spaces such as dining rooms and lounges. Short corridors coupled with open-plan staff bays on busy corners give staff visibility of residents, allowing observation without intrusion. This design also encourages residents to interact with the space autonomously rather than rely on staff for decision-making, improving health and confidence.
Other “silently supportive” features include lighting attuned to circadian rhythms and interiors that offer a sensory journey. Colours and textures are carefully accented across finishes and fittings. Respite seating in corridors is placed within “sensory consoles,” with items that activate the sense of sight, touch, smell or hearing. Each bedroom includes a “memory box,” allowing residents to customise and recognise their space with personal items and photographs.
The landscaping similarly supports inclusivity and wellness. Two large, flat, distinct gardens contain raised beds with highly sensory and seasonal plants. Paths form meandering loops, promoting movement.
The building earned a sustainability rating of Very Good under the BREEAM framework, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, with energy-efficient lighting, solar electricity generation and heating and cooling with air-source heat pump technology.