Capability Scotland reveals design brief for £28m complex-needs site at Bertha Park
A charity with ambitious plans to create a flagship complex-needs facility has engaged its service users in the design phase with support from Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS).
Scotland’s design champion, which typically supports the design of publicly-funded projects, has supported Capability Scotland to co-produce, together with staff, residents and families, its architectural design brief for the new facility at Bertha Park in Perth.
The project – which has been named Our Inclusive Community Project (OICP) – hosted a series of hands-on workshops to engage with the people who will be using and living in the new community, ensuring they play a central part in the future development of the care and support provided.
Key concepts unveiled will rewrite how care is delivered to those with complex needs, with the workshops identifying a strong desire for community to be central in the design, and services to ensure disabled people can live fulfilling and integrated lives.
Brian Logan, Capability Scotland CEO, said: “Gaining insight and opinion from individuals who will be living and using the new facility has been an important element across all aspects of the project.
“As we have placed co-design at the centre of this project, it has been extremely fulfilling to see our community respond to this core project aim. However, although there is a strong desire from all parties for the community to feature prominently throughout the brief, there is also recognition of the need to balance this by offering private, secure and quieter spaces.
“We have looked to develop and grow in our move from Upper Springland to Bertha Park. This doesn’t necessarily reference our size, but more the way residents live and interact with each other due to the building’s design and the facilities that will be on offer.
“It is also integral that with this move we build a community between the people who work and live at the new facility and the community of Bertha Park. As King Charles would say, helping to create a community of communities.”
The project will look beyond simply building new housing, but develop facilities and initiatives that give residents and wider service users greater opportunities to participate and flourish as part of the growing new Bertha Park community and beyond.
Residents from Capability Scotland’s existing facility at Upper Springland, Perth – who will be relocated to the new site at Bertha Park – attended the workshops alongside family members, staff and the wider community.
Aside from the primary objective of integrating disabled people into their local communities; other strong concepts identified in the workshops included: accessibility, greater deployment of assistive technologies to enhance people’s lives, more training and staff development, creating useable outdoor spaces and the importance of good natural light, air quality and temperature.
A&DS adopted workshop techniques used on major health projects in Scotland to help establish priorities for the development, based on an understanding of the group’s needs, aspirations, desires, and visions.
Hundreds of comments were recorded throughout the process, and these formed the basis of the Design Statement. This important document sets out key preferences, performance objectives and, most importantly, benchmarks for how these might be achieved and developed specific to the community and site identified at Bertha Park, Perth.
Steve Malone, principal architect at Architecture and Design Scotland, said: “It’s been a great opportunity to help support Capability Scotland on the development of the brief for the project.
“By working with the residents and staff at Upper Springfield we were able to help them think about what the needs for the future facility at Bertha Park might be and what it might look like.
“At A&DS we believe our strength is that we bring a new perspective to a project which helps unlock its potential, bringing people together to explore ideas for how it meets their needs and how it sits within the wider community and place.”
The Upper Springland campus, on Isla Road, has three registered care homes and offers residential and respite care to 60 adults with physical disabilities and learning disabilities. There is also a day service – as well as a hydrotherapy pool, theatre and walled gardens.