Thomas Embling Hospital

Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit 
Codesign usergroup workshop
Codesign usergroup workshop

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living area view
living area view

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The Thomas Embling Hospital masterplan by MAAP has informed the design for the hospital’s Secure Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit which was constructed following a fast-track program alongside existing high secure hospital areas winning the best mental health project award at the European Healthcare Design Awards in 2020.

The SPICU meets the episodic needs of high risk mentally ill patients transferred from prison with secure humane containment and facilities for therapeutic engagement, potentially separate to other patients. 

The facility provides residential accommodation for the stabilisation of patients alongside carefully planned day spaces, de-escalation, seclusion and treatment rooms, and secure patient courtyards near staff offices and support spaces.

The team were involved in developing the model of care and functional brief through an intensive user engagement process. The unit is located to engage with long views beyond the secure campus boundary and provides access to gardens. 

“Lyn Kilpatrick the original masterplan architect visited the SPICU and was complimentary of the design and planning. He was also very happy with the siting and the respect for keeping the green space and vistas. He had just visited some Scandinavian facilities – SPICU compared well.” 

Les Potter, Forensicare 


Fairfield, Victoria



Mental Health Forensic care 



Department of Health and Human Services Victoria 



Masterplanner and Architect





European Healthcare Design Awards 2020 - Mental Health Award Winner