Mental health centres-day treatment centres

Design in these arenas aims to create a safe and welcoming environment which will not alienate the regular patients and their carers who visit over a long period of time but seeks to brighten their lives. In most instances design will follow the principles of a hospital, but the main concepts are outlined below.

Key principles

  • Create a welcoming, non-institutional environment
  • Create a safe environment for staff, patients and visitors
  • Create an environment fit for the delivery of appropriate treatment
  • Ensure that the function of each room is clearly identifiable

Guide to design

Research is being carried out continually to identify best practice in design, but there are some key principles on which key stakeholders and designers agree.  This is intended as brief overview of the subject and does not constitute definitive guidelines. The product recommendations below do not constitute an exhaustive list and we would always recommend that you consult your Altro Consultant on specific project requirements.

Entrance/ reception

  • Create a homely, welcoming and safe ambience
  • Design in ease of orientation to other key areas in the building
  • Ensure the area is easy to keep clean and maintain

Product recommendations: Altro Suprema II, Altro Wood Safety, Altro Whiterock wall cladding

Corridors/ circulation areas/ waiting rooms

  • Incorporate way finding into the overall design to facilitate access and manage flow to key patient areas
  • Flooring should be impervious and fully bonded to the substrate
  • If spillages are a concern, from patients / staff carrying liquids etc, install slip-resistant safety flooring offering the latest in PUR cleaning technologies to maintain cleanliness and hygiene

Product recommendations: Altro Suprema II, Altro Whiterock wall cladding.

Toilet areas

  • These areas may be used for emergency treatments or for the administration of medicine and therefore may be prone to liquid / powder spillages. Ensure the flooring is slip resistant for staff and patient safety and the walls protected with hygienic wall cladding to help prevent the growth of bacteria
  • Create a relaxed ambience through design to promote calm behaviour

Product recommendation: Altro Aquarius safety flooring combined with Altro Whiterock wall cladding.

Staff kitchens

  • Flooring and walling should be impervious to maintain hygiene

Product recommendations: Altro Stronghold 30, Altro Whiterock wall cladding/ splashbacks.


  • Allow staff observation as required
  • Prevent dismantling / removal of individual parts / breaking to be used for harm or as barriers
  • Design and installation should prevent ligature, finger-trapping, escape, hiding
  • Allow a two-way swing, in case a patient blocks one side of the door, it can be opened in the other direction
  • Colour co-ordinate with the design scheme for a calming effect

Product recommendations: Altro Whiterock Doorsets.