Old See House

by RPP Architects with Richard Murphy

This new build Community Primary Care Health Centre provides support for those in the North Belfast area coping with mental health issues.

The facility houses:
•             Community Mental Health Team and Consultant outpatient clinic facilities.
•             Acute day-treatment facility.
•             An 8-bedroom Home Treatment House.

The site, located in a Conservation Area, has a Victorian boundary wall of 2-4m high and mature trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders. The existing access was widened with the original gate pillars reused and new gates installed.

The two-storey design reflects the residential nature of the area with single-storey extensions around the perimeter to create private courtyard gardens while further breaking down the impact of the building. The residential element was designed to read as a house, identifiable from the main building.

The building layout, including the open plan offices and bookable consultation and therapy rooms, encourages integration of the various mental health teams that are now based together for the first time.

Spaces include bespoke private areas for individual talking therapy inputs and consultations whilst the main entrance and concourse opens out to beautifully landscaped garden which is protected from public view by the building itself.

The building is a therapeutic space, offering a relaxing environment during what is often a stressful experience for patients.

Collaboration with the Client, users and community throughout the design process, has ensured Old See House meets the needs of all stakeholders: the client, users, patients, visitors and the general public.