The Redwoods Centre, Shrewsbury

Different thinking: A new perspective on mental health

“A big and revolutionary change, not only for Shropshire but the whole region.”

That’s how Andrew Hughes, Project Director at the South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, described the Redwoods Centre in Shrewsbury when it opened in 2012.

Redwoods is a dedicated ‘mental health village’: a far cry from the Victorian Shelton Hospital asylum it replaced and an emblem of a 21st century approach to supporting people with mental health issues.

Project details

  • Customer: South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS
  • Architect: Nightingale Associates
  • Quantity Surveyor: Holbrow Brookes Construction Consultants
  • Structural Engineer: Clarke Bond and Mark Brock Consulting Engineers
  • M&E Services Engineer: Couch Perry & Wilkes

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70.5% Fact icon BREEAM Excellent score
10 Fact icon Acres of landscaped grounds
50 Fact icon Years ago the old Victorian hospital was earmarked to close

The HRH Duke of Gloucester officially opens The Redwoods Centre, Shropshire

Village life

The centre provides a total of 112 single-bed rooms, for acute psychiatric patients, those with ‘organic’ mental health disorders (due to a medical or physical disease), and those making the transition back to the community.

The aim is to create a home from home for people using the unit. As well as the residential rooms there’s a central ‘street’, with a café, shop, bank and pharmacy.
The welcoming central entrance building, gentle landscaping and deliberately ‘domestic’ architecture couldn’t contrast more strongly with the intimidating, neo-gothic 19th century hospital they replace.

Roof lights and windows throughout the single-storey clinical accommodation ensure that patients get plenty of sunlight to help their recovery.

‘Blue Tree’ – an art piece featuring wood and screen-printed laser cut leaves, was commissioned specially for Redwoods

Building for the community

We used local labour wherever we could on the project, and involved local schools to benefit the wider community.

As part of a local history project, we took a group of primary school children on a tour of the site and organized a quiz for them.

Impressively, BAM brought the construction in £1 million under budget.

The team that delivered Redwoods were also singled out for the Project Team of the Year prize at the first ever Design for Mental Health Awards, organised as part of the Design in Mental Health Conference in July 2014.