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Yannanda - Adolescent Mental Health Unit

Project: Yannanda - Adolescent Mental Health Unit
Client: Queensland Health
Location: Toowoomba, Qld
Value: $10.5 million
Architect: Stephen Sims (Project Services)
Role: Design Architect and Principal Consultant

This Toowoomba Adolescent Mental Health Unit is a first for Queensland Health, realizing a shift towards standalone units embodying a healing, safe and reassuring environment. The unit incorporates an 8-bed inpatient unit for 13-18 year olds, an outpatient day-unit, school, consulting rooms, office areas and car parking. Major architectural and engineering challenges resulted in a building of interesting and playful form, with a contextual urban exterior, and a calm and private interior. A raised circulation and daylighting spine with intersecting wings became the ultimate solution with a twisting building form allowing surveillance from given points.
Intersecting arms create tranquil and secluded courtyards. Externally the form responds and delineates the internal uses, each articulated either by material, colour or form, providing a “transparency” of function in a building that by nature requires privacy. Environmentally the building incorporates best practice design with daylight dimming and time and sensor-controlled lighting and air-conditioning, water harvesting and re-use, North-facing living areas and courtyards (sheltered from winter winds), double-glazed windows and a heavily insulated façade, low energy air-conditioning with individual room units to allow for varying occupancy.

The building embodies the positive energy of good teamwork and design and represents an empowering asset for the client and its occupants.

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