Unit 5b Psychiatric Mid Western Regional Hospital Limerick

Contract value: €5.2M. Main Contractor: John Sisk Builders. Architect: O'Connell Mahon Architects. Client: HSE West. Phase 1 was completed early 2013.

I was the Project Architect on this project from tender stage right through to Phase 1 completion on site.

There was an existing single storey psychiatric unit of approximately 1500m² which had to be maintained live and operational during the construction stage with no reduction in patient numbers. This meant that the construction needed to be broken into an enabling works phase and then 3 main construction phases to allow for decanting of existing patients into completed phases so that parts of the existing unit can be demolished.

The new unit includes approximately 1400 m² of new construction and approximately 1000 m² of major refurbishment of the existing building. The idea behind the design of the unit was to create a series of internal private secure courtyards so that all areas have views and access to the outside while still maintaining the privacy of the patients.

There were specific challenges to the design of interior details and fittings which had to be designed for the prevention of self harm as far as possible and also meet clinical/hygiene standards of the hospital while also trying to create a bright, colourful, cheerful environment with lots of natural light to assist in the recovery of the patients.