Meadow View Specialist Dementia Residential Care Centre
by Glancy Nicholls Architects
Client Derbyshire County Council,
Awards RIBA East Midlands Award 2017, RIBA East Midland Client of the Year 2017 - sponsored by Tobermore - for Derbyshire County Council
Buildings associated with care for the elderly often tend towards a safe institutional ‘vernacular’ design approach. Meadow View, a new specialist dementia residential care centre, is different. The architects, Glancy Nicholls, have a strong track record in this unfashionable type of building, and have brought all their experience to this site on the edge of Matlock, in the Derbyshire Dales.
The design seeks to maximise its aspect from a west-facing hillside, and is arranged as a series of terraced wings stepping up the site. Each wing contains a cluster of eight specialist bedrooms, each with their own terrace and living areas. The entrance is at the mid-level, with a direct connection to the adjacent Whitworth Hospital. The ‘public’ areas occupy the centre of the complex, with zones increasing in privacy as you move towards the extremities. As soon as you arrive in the spacious foyer you are welcomed with a superb view across the valley; the immediate impression is of daylight and airiness, a sense which is continues throughout the centre, where corridors end with glazed doors giving onto multi-level balconies.
A central circulation route links the four floor levels as it climbs up the hillside, and is signalled outside (and sometimes inside) by a distinctive local Derbyshire drystone wall. The same stone is used in sawn form for the neat roof and coping details, creating a unity both within the building and externally with its surroundings, despite its very contemporary scale and form. The roofs are flat and planted, both to open up views from the rear of the site, and in some measure, to replace the meadow which the building now occupies.
This is a project which has benefited hugely from a passionate, hands-on client, demanding excellence for a group in the community who are too often overlooked and institutionalised. Project Manager, Liz Ewbank, also brought the latest dementia care research from the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) at the University of Stirling into the architectural brief. For these reasons, Derbyshire County Council has also been awarded RIBA East Midlands ‘Client of the Year’. It is clear that residents, staff and visitors greatly enjoy the building and its relationship to the surrounding countryside. Meadow View surely sets a new standard for dementia care design.
Contractor Balfour Beatty
Structural Engineers Curtins Consulting
Environmental/M&E Engineers Derbyshire County Council
Quantity Surveyor/Cost Consultant Derbyshire County Council
Acoustic Engineers URS Infrastructure & Environment UK Ltd
Landscape Architects Derbyshire County Council
Interior Design Glancy Nicholls Architects Ltd
Internal area 3,423 m²