University of Edinburgh Wellbeing Centre
University of Edinburgh
7 Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 7AL
Internal Floor Area
Putting health and wellbeing at the forefront of design, student life and the university experience
An exciting, innovative, student-focussed new facility, the new Wellbeing Centre at the University of Edinburgh lies at the heart of the university’s Central Area Campus.
Initially conceived as a new home for Counselling and Disability Services, the project will integrate these services with the existing University Medical Centre and relocation of the University Pharmacy at 6 and 7 Bristo Square, to provide an holistic facility dedicated to students’ physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing.
A new, light-filled, welcoming glazed entrance arcade extrudes out from under the Modernist concrete form of the existing building, introducing accessible circulation and connection from Bristo Square to the upper levels.
Internally, significant reconfiguration of the lower three floors peels away decades of unsympathetic additions, introducing as much light as possible to create dedicated consultation rooms, group workshop areas, a Wellbeing Lounge, and opportunity for expansion to meet future demand.
Health and wellbeing is now at the forefront of student life and the university experience.
Creating a service-delivery environment that supports positive physical and mental health of both students and staff is hugely important and a key design driver.
The Wellbeing Centre creates the potential for up to 36 new one-to-one consultation rooms, a new Wellbeing Lounge (focused on positive social interaction rather than study) with a dedicated space for quiet reflection or contemplation and, crucially, a welcoming accessible route through the building via the new internal arcade along Bristo Square.
Page\Park has worked closely with key stakeholder groups throughout the design process, undertaking and recording briefing and consultation sessions. These ongoing collaborative workshops have been vital in understanding the varying and complex aspirations, needs and technical requirements of users, including:
- Aspiration and vision for a wellbeing zone
- Programmatic and functional requirements
- Atmosphere and character
- Furniture layout and selection
This ongoing, structured conversation not only engages users, but gives us much greater insight into their needs and logistical requirements.
The quality and character of the internal spaces and their effect on wellbeing have become a catalyst for our interior design concept.
A number of studies into the correlation between architecture and interior design and its impact on health have concluded that spaces designed for positive wellbeing can reduce stress and anxiety, and encourage a greater feeling of wellness.
Subtle referencing of local locations to create a familiarity of place, allowing users to feel a sense of control, and introducing elements to create positive distraction have all been implemented in the interior design strategy.
A colour palette derived from the Cherry Blossom avenue at The Meadows, comprising soft tones and natural textures will temper the hard surfaces of the 1970s Brutalist building, create a calming, stress-reducing environment. Furthermore, colour will be used to designate space, as part of the way-finding strategy and also to introduce contrast for the visually impaired.
Our interiors strategy looks to create an holistic, coherent, cohesive approach to the interior design of the Wellbeing Centre, bringing together various users of varying and complex needs, designing to promote positive wellbeing.