Priesty Fields is a 78-bedded nursing and residential care home operated Handsale, a care operator providing nursing, dementia, and residential care for more than 600 residents across England, Scotland, and Wales.
When Handsale came to us with the brief for this project, it was clear they had a very specific care philosophy and that they were looking to achieve something that hadn’t been done before. The environment needed to be a key enabler of this philosophy and we would have to push the boundaries of conventional care home design to bring this vision to life.
Caring for those who care
The Handsale philosophy is, staff first; and this meant creating one of the most innovative staff areas ever seen inside a care home.
In an industry that is emotionally, physically, and mentally challenging to work in, the staff need a space where they can relax and re-vitalise, and so we designed an environment that feels like a complete departure from the ‘home from home’ we want for the residents.
The design of the staff area is youthful and vibrant, bringing in accent colours with pops of yellow, and a modern mix of black and oak to give a Scandic feel. We also knew the health and wellbeing benefits of biophilic design would have a positive impact, so we installed a textured green living wall and used moss-effect carpet tiles for a more organic feel on the floor.
Priesty Fields truly sets the standard for care home staff facilities, which at a time when care homes are facing staff shortages, could prove to be crucial to attracting and retaining talent.
Wellbeing & community
Priesty Fields would be looking after residents who may not be able to go outdoors and interact with the local community, so a fundamental part of the brief was to bring the outdoors in; and this meant bringing the local community into the home, as well as incorporating natural and biophilic elements within the design.
On the ground floor, 6 bedrooms were sacrificed to create a wellbeing hub where a fantastic choice of communal spaces are designed to simulate a real high street with fully functioning shops and amenities, including a café, pub, hair salon, gymnasium, corner shop, launderette, spa, and cinema.
Handsale believes residents shouldn’t live their lives in their bedrooms, so the wellbeing hub is designed to encourage residents out of their bedrooms and provide spaces where they can socialise with fellow residents, their family and friends, and even the public so that it feels like they’ve had a day out, but in the safety and security of the home where the staff are always on hand to support them.
Authenticity, not proxy
Another key tenet of the Handsale philosophy is ‘authenticity not proxy’; this closely aligned with our own design philosophy and really enabled us to challenge existing beliefs and explore new opportunities in care home design.
Contrary to the trend of many modern, high-end and luxury care homes towards a hotel-feel, Priesty Fields has a distinctly homely feel; using materials, patterns, and colours that you would find in and around your own home and local community to create a warm, immersive, and familiar environment.
It starts as soon as you walk through the doors of Priesty Fields; the large and airy atrium is designed to reflect the traditional local market town in Congleton with its full-size tree proudly taking centre stage and earthy colour scheme setting you at ease before you explore everything Priesty Fields has to offer.
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