Beech Residence, Gormanston Wood

Award: SILVER

The Beech Residence is a recently refurbished dementia-specific care household within the long-established Gormanston Wood Nursing Home operated by Trinity Care.

Located close to the County Meath coastline of the Irish Sea, and set within an impressive wooded estate, the spatial layout of Beech Residence ensures residents remain connected to natural light and outdoor spaces. Two sheltered courtyards help allow residents to have safe at-will access to outdoor activities. Whilst one courtyard is a contemplative hard-landscaped space containing art and artefacts that link to local history and industry, the other is relaxed and sunny, with deciduous trees, seasonal planting, and a path leading to a bright arts and activities space in an adjoining part of the main building.

The 19-bedroom household is organised around a corridor that encircles one of the two courtyards, simplifying wayfinding around the unit. Selective use of glazed internal walls and doors enhance visual access social spaces, helping residents understand to orient themselves to their location, and to view any activities going on in a space before choosing to enter. 

The provision of two physically separate dining rooms, helps to ensure day to day meals are positive sensory and social experiences for residents – so is a particularly welcome design feature.

New flooring, decor, doors, signage, and more throughout combine to ensure the residence is a safe recognisable place, that optimises the comfort, safety, and wellbeing of residents

Overall, DSDC are impressed high standard of dementia design that was achieved in this project, despite the challenges of making improvements to an existing building, within a live residential care setting, and on a modest budget.