Orygen Youth Health

Orygen and OYH Parkville nabs global prize for Mental Health Design

The Orygen and OYH Parkville building by BLP won the top prize for Best Mental Health Design at the 2019 European Healthcare Design Awards ceremony in London.

It’s an honour to receive this accolade from a globally recognised and knowledgeable peer group of international healthcare design professionals, considered one of the highest international awards in Mental Health Design.

Judged for it’s excellence in Strategic Vision, Context, Purposeful Innovation, Design Approach and Sustainability against competition from the Netherlands and Denmark, Orygen and OYH Parkville is considered a shining example of design and innovations in healthcare which will help raise the bar in healthcare design and service delivery in Europe and across the globe.

Professor Patrick McGorry AO, Executive Director of Orygen commented:

We are really delighted with our new facility. This award is a strong endorsement of our new approach to youth mental health facilities globally.

Orygen and OYH Parkville is a youth mental health facility championing inclusive and universal design, where everyone is safe and welcome, and young people are empowered with choice and agency.

Orygen and Orygen Youth Health (OYH) are separately funded organisations but have always worked side by side in providing evidenced based care paths for young people with mental health needs between the ages of 15-24 years. On a single site in a beautiful bushland oasis in the city, Orygen provides research-based services and OYH provides clinical services. 

BLP were privileged to work with the Youth Participation and Engagement Team at Orygen and OYH to ensure that young people’s thoughts, feelings and priorities underpinned all aspects of the design, to deliver a facility for young people, by young people. Consultation between members of staff and a mix of young people with a lived experience and their families, as well as young people without a lived experience.

Paul Longridge, BLP Clinical Health Planner for the project, said:

This project has challenged us to rethink everything we think we know about how young people respond to our behaviours and the behaviour of peers and family. It has involved the most fascinating stakeholder discussions about spatial empowerment, and making young people feel comfortable.

By engaging with the principles of Universal Design, facilities are easily utilised for different needs without isolating or excluding any population group – an important part of Orygen’s and OYH’s commitment to inclusivity.

Tonya Hinde, BLP’s Interior Design Director for the project, said, “One of the most discussed issues with young people and clinicians was ‘inclusivity’, particularly for those in the LGBTQIA community, though our consultation process identified gender and sexual orientation discrimination is a real issue for young people and not just for those living the experience. One way we addressed this was to make all amenities in the new facility gender neutral.”

Innovative spatial planning, warm materiality, and home-like spaces and furniture challenge perceptions about what mental health care looks like.

This project is also a contender in the international 2019 INDE.Awards for “The Wellness Space” – a place for wellness that gives equal emphasis to procedure and human experience – and was shortlisted for the Public Design category in the prestigious 2019 Australian Interior Design Awards.

Ron Billard, BLP’s Director-in-Charge for the project, said:

We feel very privileged to have worked on this ground-breaking project with such an engaged group of people. This project represents a culmination of BLP’s 24 years at the forefront of health, research and urban design. We believe its design has the power to transform the lives of many young Australians suffering from mental ill-health, and their families.

Read more about Orygen and OYH Parkville.

Orygen and OYH Parkville nabs global prize for Mental Health DesignChristine Arundell