Mental Health Unit, Highcroft Hospital

MAAP, Birmingham, 2002


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

Mental health unit entrance 

David Whyte     Download Original

  • Mental health unit entrance    
  • Entrance    
  • Courtyard    
  • Single storey units    
  • Landscaped garden    
  • Corridor with view onto courtyard    
  • Bedroom    
  • Corridor    
  • Shared spaces    
  • Site plan    
  • Older Adult Acute Unit ground floor plan    
  • Older Adult Acute Unit upper floor plan    
  • Rehabilation Unit plan    
  • High Dependency Unit plan    
  • High Dependency Unit plan    
  • Section through bedroom showing sloping roof    
  • Perspective drawing of scheme    
  • Older Adult Acute Unit diagram    
  • High Dependency Unit diagram    
  • Rehabilation Unit diagram    

Residential mental health care unit at Highcroft Hospital containing individual rooms and shared facilities for patients undergoing treatment

The aim was to provide a sympathetic, domestic environment, which promotes security, dignity and independence for both patients and staff. The approach was to locate all facilities on the periphery of the site so that they interface with the surrounding community.

The development comprises of a 28 bed older adult assessment unit supplemented by a 20 place day hospital, a 26 bed high dependency unit with direct areas to a core activity centre and a 13 bed rehabilitation unit providing self-contained hotel style flats.

Since patients can be resident from a couple of months up to a year or two, facilities include shared lounges, kitchenettes and communal activity space.

The planning is focused on courtyards, typically surrounded by a corridor, as both social and private space. Corridors have frequent high windows under the monopitch roofs looking onto the courtyards. The corridors are broad and light with window seats opposite bedsit doors.

Rooms are simply finished in plaster with cork tile floors and level-access showers in en-suite bathrooms. Window sills are low and broad enough to be used as seats, with the landscaping close beyond. Sloped ceilings allow service runs to be in the high part of the room against the corridor wall.


  • Begun: Sep 2000
  • Completed: Jan 2002
  • Floor area: 4,020m2
  • Sector: Healthcare
  • Total cost: £9M
  • Procurement: PFI
  • Address: 355 Slade Road, Birmingham, B23 7AL, United Kingdom

Professional Team


AJBL Sponsor

Mumford & Wood

Specialist manufacturer of bespoke timber windows, doors and roof lanterns in period and contemporary designs

Find out more