Clifton Hill, Melbourne

Industry: Health

Size: 1200m2

Year: 2010

Forensicare is a state government organisation responsible for the provision of adult forensic mental health services in Victoria. Forensicare is responsible to the Minister for Health and provides specialist clinical services, together with a court service, research, training, professional education and services for victims of crime.

Linear was commissioned to provide Forensicare with a new workplace, which integrated typical workplace accommodation with patient interface and clinical areas. A disused sports goods warehouse was leased and we had the challenge of converting this space into traditional office accommodation.

The design objective was to create workplace accommodation that was highly secure and provided a positive and welcoming environment for clients and visitors. The palette needed to be soft, warm and sensitive to the needs of clients. For this reason, no patterns or bright colours were used in client areas and soft pendant lighting brought a relaxed and comfortable feel to the more clinical rooms where patients and staff interfaced. This extended further into the selection of loose furniture which needed to have soft edges and weight to ensure the safety of all users.

Forensicare was challenging and unique in its combination of both workplace design and health care facility. The project included not only typical work areas, but interview rooms, clinical treatment rooms and a separate secure workspace for the Monash University Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science. The design needed to be clever and cost effective to maximize the budget given the high proportion of technical and security requirements. Within this, was the need to meet strict Occupational Health and Safety requirements as well as approvals from government departments including the Department of Human Services.