The healing journey begins at Ipswich Hospital’s Acute Mental Health Unit

Australia’s newest Acute Mental Health Unit in Ipswich, Queensland, builds on a foundation of healing to create an environment that nurtures wellbeing and mindfulness.

The new 64-bed multi-storey facility designed by Hassell for West Moreton Health establishes a setting of dignity and calm and places person-focused care, recovery, and safety at its core. Accommodation, social areas, and gardens combine in a way reminiscent of a residential setting to assist in normalising and integrating mental healthcare in the community while establishing a direct link to Ipswich Hospital’s clinical campus.

Sunlit rooms and corridors, and verdant courtyard gardens create a connection to nature, helping to improve wellbeing and support the healing process. Openness and transparency, enabled by a glazed perimeter and lightwells, ensure passive observation across floors and maximise safety for all. 

The architecture, interior design and landscape architecture work together to enhance a feeling of calmness, familiarity and comfort, creating an environment that positively supports a progressive mental health model of care.”

Stephen Watson, Principal

The benefits from the investment in this exceptional design will translate to improved recovery rates for patients, but also improved conditions for staff and therefore better attraction, satisfaction and retention rates,” says Stephen. For visitors — family and loved ones — the design extends a warm welcome and supports their participation in the healing process.”


A deep engagement process through each design stage saw the design team collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders including consumers, carers, clinicians, allied health professionals, operations staff and community groups as part of a co-design process. 

Meaningful engagement with First Nations representatives has shaped the design to deliver a welcoming and culturally safe environment. This is reflected through features such as native planting, bush medicine gardens, light filled interiors, access to open views, a colour palette that reflects country and curated artworks by local artists. 

Hassell Health Sector Leader, Leanne Guy, says the facility supports a nation-wide commitment to improve mental healthcare and sets a new benchmark for person-centred and recovery-orientated care in Australia. According to the bureau of statistics, 42.9% of Australians aged between 16-85 years have experienced a mental disorder at some time in their life. 

Our duty as designers is to normalise care and improve the recovery process through high-quality design outcomes.

Leanne Guy, Health Sector Leader

Our team’s expertise in mental healthcare facility design is an extension of Hassell’s core commitment to place the wellbeing of people at the centre of everything we do,” says Leanne. 

We acknowledge the work of MAAP through the business case process. 


February 14, 2024

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Find out more.