The Whiteleaf Centre is a £43 million 80-bed Mental Health Centre in Aylesbury. It was completed and opened in February 2014. The building was instigated by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and delivered by Kier Construction and Nightingale Architects. The Landscape Architects were Terra Firma Consultancy.
Whiteleaf Centre visual by Nightingale Associates, Project Architects
I was commissioned in November 2012 by Tom Cox, ‘Artscape’ Project Manager for Oxford Health, to develop artwork for glazing and walls which could also work as way finding. This was achieved via digital printing onto optically clear vinyl and vinyl wall covering by Guardian Glazing Films and their sub consultant Bonwyke.
12th February 2014. Detail: Digital print on optically clear vinyl. Finally installed in the Cafe & Waiting Area
The project was influenced by its site history, firstly as a private residence called Manor House and an archive publication from the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, which listed in detail, the contents of the house & garden from its sale at the turn of the Century. The house & grounds eventually transformed into Manor House Hospital, which was completely demolished for the new build. I was also really intrigued by the Ecological Assessment of the former Hospital site which was produced by Capita Symonds for Kier Build in 2011 which referred to the original seed bank of the site being present still in the spoil heaps of the demolition.
Text from the Ecological Assessment of the site carried out by Capita Symonds for Kier Build in 2011
Detailed descriptions of the gardens and their contents were contained in the sales particulars of the original Manor House
A list of animals and insects identified through study or anecdotal evidence as being either resident or visitors to the site.
The artworks are presented as a series of interlinked vistas and quiet spaces which carry references to the site through the interior of the building. The images also to the influence that gardens, nature & the natural world has within the understanding and treatment of acute mental health. One of the aims of the new building is to provide gardening opportunities for service users to grow things and to provide quiet outside spaces where people can be surrounded by planting and seasonal change.
16th May 2013. Early concept visual of a garden with planted borders and tree
23rd October 2013. Draft design for the Cafe & Waiting room
Draft design work for the Entrance Corridor glazing
24th October 2013. Draft designs in progress for the 4 Ward Hub areas
17th May 2013. Many site visits enabled a continuing dialogue to be had with staff and the project team.
3rd December 2013 – Final iconography signed off and building detailed designs ongoing.
3rd December 2013 – Detailed design for Entrance Corridor artwork is approved –
12th February 2014 – Some vinyls installed, some small revisions and snags to resolve with the print.
12th February 2014 – Site meeting to review first batch of installations. Print detail really good.
12th February 2014 – installation started.
12th February 2014 – meeting in the Cafe & Waiting area to review first installation sequence.
12th February 2014 – Meeting Room glazing partially installed. One panel of glazing is cracked – so installation now delayed here for several weeks.
12th February 2014 – Detail of Meeting Room window.
12th February 2014 – some windows have text referencing the former house on the site set in a maelstrom scribbled line.
25th September 2013, Final artwork approved for project. Meeting Room & Cafe Waiting Area
9th December 2013 – Ward Hub designs approved for print.
9th December 2013 – Ward Hub ‘A’ approved for print.
2nd December 2013 – Ward Hub ‘D’ approved for print.
2nd December 2014 – detail to corridor artwork has printed incorrectly. The vixen is meant to be surrounded by an opaque cloud. This elements spans several panels, so is a pain to have to re-print. I actually quite like the effect – wish I had left is as it was ! – but the coral colour tree on the right has also printed incorrectly – so the whole lot has to go.
2nd December 2014 – Detail – small violet at the base of the Meeting Room window.