As part of the wider Polwithen House masterplan in Penzance, Cornwallis Care Services are to deliver a brand new forty-seven bedroom nursing home with specialist dementia care facilities. This development is the second phase of the new Francis Bolitho Care Home, a forty-five bedroom nursing home converted from former school buildings on the Polwithen House estate.
As designers we understand that the quality of the environment has not only a positive impact on the wellbeing of the resident, but also makes it easier for relatives to entrust the care of their loved ones to others. We took a holistic approach on this project that involved engaging with best practice guidance and the provider to pay careful attention to everthing from the layout, interior design and landscaping to the lighting and building services. We wanted to ensure the building felt like the residents home, with interiors that have a domestic scale and feel. To address the needs of dementia patients the floorplan is designed to aid the residents’ ability to navigate the building. The building is designed around household 'clusters' of ten bedrooms, each with their own living space, kitchen area and secure winter garden balcony.
The external appearance of the building takes cues from the wider surrounding agricultural typology, with well ordered horizontal timber panels cladding the elevations. A light-coloured, buff brick plinth at ground floor level unifies the building with the adjacent residential housing and Polwithen House.
Particular care has been given to the design of safe and secure enclosed gardens around the care home. The creation of the sensory spaces, raised and accessible plant beds and sheltered areas will allow for a safe and stimulating environment for the elderly with a greater care need.