Liverpool City Council commissioned us to design and project manage a new specialist dementia care centre. The centre provides expert care and a range of other services, including emergency bed cover. We designed the centre after extensive consultation with service users, carers and staff, including specialists in the treatment and care of patients with dementia. The new centre is a model for dementia friendly design with an open and welcoming environment based upon contrast, colour and clarity.

The look and the feel of the building is important because it communicates to people that they are of value. Therefore, we designed the centre to offer a series of high-quality spaces and selected premium materials throughout, with a focus on timber, which symbolises warmth, nurturing and longevity. We carefully selected the colours and textures used, to stimulate the senses and memory of dementia clients. We even chose red for the colour of the entrance - as it is the last colour on the spectrum that fades in people with dementia.

There are facilities to enable staff to assess people and identify the most suitable types of technology which can be fitted at home to help them stay safe - such as sensors and warning alarms. The rooms include treatment rooms for visits by GPs or dentists, large spaces suitable for group activities and hobbies and crafts, plus a mini-cinema for cognitive therapy.

The client, service users and their families have warmly welcomed the new centre and it won “Best Care Complex” in the Pinders Healthcare Design Awards, 2014.

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