Stanley, Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands Government
One Creative Environments Ltd. (One) was commissioned by the Falkland Islands Government (FIG) to design the first ever purpose built Vulnerable Persons Extra Care Facility on the islands – a facility which will provide excellent independent living facilities for the frail and elderly, as well as those living with a disability, learning difficulty or those in need of dementia care. The designs needed to be attractive and non-institutional and deliver the highest standards for its residents.
The Falkland Islands, Stanley, is a picturesque island with unhindered views of the South Atlantic Ocean providing the perfect setting for an architecture of healthcare that is both contemporary yet respectful to the sensitive surroundings.
The new facility is intended as a focal point and a new model of care to serve the people of the Falkland Islands, whilst developing a new way forward for their aging and vulnerable population.
Initially, a team from One Creative Environments Ltd. (One) visited the Falkland Islands to undertake a valuable and intensive week of site visits, stakeholder meetings and workshops to form a fully robust brief, and have since visited the Islands on many occasions to develop the design.
A welcoming atmosphere was essential within an environment that could not only be enjoyed by the residents, but also by the wider community. The feasibility study findings demonstrated that an innovative 3600m² single storey care facility could be successfully delivered using an offsite construction system that blended into the natural surroundings.
A carefully selected palette of materials allowed for the design to aid in wayfinding while also creating a warm, domestic and homely atmosphere to reinforce much needed independence. The building has been designed with wings which are positioned to maximise the number of apartments with a sea view and the layout of the complex has been considered to create a ‘village feel’, where users feel safe and connected.
Physically separating the winged clusters gives rise to relaxing ‘wing lounges’, areas that the residents and others can spend time in and socialise. These areas are designed to be conveniently located near Accessible WC’s, making it easier for residents to reach facilities. At the end of each wing, various zones of the landscaped gardens can be accessed, all designed with a wandering loop in mind so that the residents do not get confused or lost during relaxing walks. Additionally, all wings lead back to the core of the building where there are communal spaces which include a cinema room/multi-purpose room, activity area, a hair and beauty salon, a café and a restaurant. Designed to be flexible, the multi-purpose room and activity room can be combined to create a larger area, perfect for public events.
Set in landscaped gardens, the development consists of 32 extra care apartments and two short term apartments for respite-care plus associated staff and ancillary services. Each apartment is designed to adapt and change for the needs and abilities of the individual. As a home for life, the apartments incorporate innovative assistive technology, dementia friendly design principles, and wheelchair accessible kitchens and shower rooms all designed to not feel institutional. Ensuites are designed to either add or remove grab rails as needed, so that they feel homely.
This facility will also free up much needed capacity in King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) in Stanley, the Islands’ only hospital, which also has a phased strategic development plan with One commissioned for the design of Phase One.