Crystal Centre | North Essex
The Crystal Centre is a specialist older adult mental health unit on the Broomfield Hospital campus, north of Chelmsford. This was a new build project on a brownfield site, an existing car park, within the hospital grounds.
A key feature of the site is the existing trees, which carry TPOs. A number of protected species, such as great crested newts, badgers and bats, are present on the site. Great care was taken to minimise disturbance to these species and allow existing trees to be retained, for both habitat and visual reasons.
The landscape scheme consists of a series of really identifiable space: a public plaza, connecting the Centre to the rest of the hospital campus, the surrounding, predominantly soft, landscape setting for the new building and a series of themed garden courts.
As this is a mental health unit, way finding and accessibility are key issues for the spaces within it. DSA worked closely with the hospital's clinicians to develop a series of colour themed courts that are used for therapy and treatment.
DSA wrote the Landscape Management Plan (LMP) for the site, to guide staff in the maintenance of their new landscape and to discharge a condition of the planning permission.
The Crystal Centre was shortlisted in the prestigious Building Better Healthcare Awards 2010.