Case Study: Woodland View Hospital, Irvine

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Strong co-design processes guided Woodland View Hospital – the 206-bed healthcare facility. Located in a mature woodland setting close to Irvine’s coast, NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s new Acute Mental Health Community Hospital is a therapeutic environment for patients and staff. Its focus of delivering inpatient and outpatient mental health services for adults is built into its design.


The creation of Woodland View followed a mental health strategy carried out in 2009 by NHS Ayrshire and Arran. They found the outdated, inadequate and institutionalized clinical provision spread across several hospital sites. As a result, the new facility forms part of the local authority’s strategy to create the healthiest lives possible for the population.

Case Study Woodland View wayfinding
Wayfinding around Woodland View Hospital



Certified as a BREEAM: Very Good rating, Woodland View minimises utility costs and carbon emissions. Meanwhile, the high levels of daylighting and natural ventilation make the space feel light, airy and healthy.  In short, this day-lighting improves vitamin D absorption and the patients’ wellbeing.


Materials selected were graded by environmental cost and impact on the embodied energy and lifespan of the building.  The external finishes complement the surrounding architecture; such as the brick tones of the Horseshoe building and white rendered walls, creating cohesion with the original Art Deco buildings.

The entrance features large metal cladding panels in bronze and silver-grey, highlighting the key architectural features of the stairs, entrance and cafe. Horizontal feature metal cladding bands in warm red and orange were designed to provide shelter from the south-westerly prevailing winds at the main entrance drop-off as well as signalling the entrance.

Large metal cladding panels in a variety of colours highlight the individual departments from the outside. Rendered parapet walls maintain a level of security within the courtyards and these also feature aluminium anti-climb rainwater pipes.

The majority of the roofs were designed as single pitched metal standing seam (Kalzip) with varying pitches to create distinctive blocks.


‘It’s not just a question of buying things off the shelf, it was very much co-designed with the people that were using it.’

Wendy de Silva, Architect, IBI Group

Woodland View Garden
Woodland View Garden: A therapeutic environment designed into its green spaces.

“Mental health accommodation across the former hospital sites all had serious shortcomings, particularly in their lack of access to safe outdoor spaces. This necessitated staff having to escort patients, often leading to frequent frustration points.  The final design was very close to what we described in our design brief, for all single bedroom accommodation on the ground floor.”

William Lauder, General Manager Ayrshire Central Hospital, Senior Manager Inpatient (Mental Health) and Forensic Services, Ayrshire Central Hospital

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Further Information

Case Study Dumfries & Galloway

Case Study Main Page

A&DS Public Buildings and Hospitals Work 

NHS Woodland View Page

IBI Group Woodland View Page

About A&DS Case Studies

Our case studies series shows the benefits of good design in Scotland’s built environment. We highlight the processes behind our built environment as well as the finished result, to grow our collective understanding of good design practice. More of our case studies are available here. We want to grow this resource as much as we can. So if you have a question or comment about our Case Studies series, email us at

[Updated Monday 16th June 2020]

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