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FIRST LOOK

Todd Architects designs ‘homestead’-inspired mental health facility in Omagh

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The single-storey Rathview Mental Health Facility uses courtyards and its greenfield site to maximise views out from the interior accommodation

Situated in a greenfield site on the outskirts of Omagh, the £2.8 million 1,169m² Rathview Mental Health Facility contains a 12-bed discharge unit and a six-bed recovery unit, arranged around two central courtyards, to help those with complex mental health problems towards recovery.

Designed for the Western Health and Social Care Trust, Todd Architects sought to use its design to challenge preconceived ideas of mental health facilities. Single storey throughout, all the accommodation areas have views either of the surrounding countryside or an internal courtyard.

Rathview Healthcare Facility  courtyard access TODD Architects  Chris Hill Photography

Rathview Healthcare Facility by TODD Architects

The pitched roofs of the habitable areas are designed to give the scheme a ‘homely’ appearance, with these areas connected by flat-roofed circulation corridors which are glazed to give views between spaces and break down the mass of the scheme.

The restrained palette of materials has white-rendered exteriors contrasting against grey slate roofs and wall cladding, with feature elements of brick and timber softening against aluminium-framed windows. The cedar wood cladding of the internal courtyards offers a warm feel with glazed infills to encourage as much natural light as possible to flow into the interiors.

Architect’s view

Rathview takes its name from a nearby ’Rath’ or ringfort; an ancient Irish chieftain’s residence dating back to the Iron Age. Our design approach maintains a dialogue with local history and this new healthcare facility reflects a contemporary take on the traditional Ulster ‘Clachan’ – a homestead formation in today’s terms. Its welcoming vernacular is a series of defined but linked built elements, consciously grouped, and reading together as one composition.

I believe there is a growing awareness of the necessity to understand and engage with our architectural heritage and to debate how this can be addressed through creating an architecture that is ours, that is engrained in the modern traditions, informed and influenced by its geographical location and the unique cultural context in which it sits.

Liam Lennon, project architect, Todd Architects

14036 Rathview Site Plan

Rathview Healthcare Facility by TODD Architects

Site plan

Project data 

Start on site December 2016
Completion 
April 2018
Building area
1,169m²
Site area 7,460m²
Construction cost £2.8 million
Contract type Preperformance Related Partnering / GC Works
Architect
 
Todd Architects
Client
Western Health and Social Care Trust
Contractor P&K McKaigue
Structural engineer Doran Consulting
Civil engineer Doran Consulting
Principal designer Doran Consulting
QS & cost consultancy WHS Stephens
M&E consultant WYG
BREEAM consultant WYG
Landscape architect Soltys Brewster

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