Shaw Healthcare, Brentry Care Home: Interiors and Landscapes

Somewhere produce ambitious projects spanning film, the web, installation, live events, design and public art.


Abbey Gardens - Somewhere

Commissioned by Willis Newson, Somewhere are responding and collaborating with Shaw Healthcare and Noma architects to influence the interior of Brentry Dementia Care Home, helping to create a high quality aesthetic whilst meeting the needs of the users. Somewhere will also, with the help of Barry Chinn landscape architects, create beautiful, sensory garden spaces for the development.

This project has been commissioned and funded by Shaw Healthcare the care providers for Brentry - a new build 48 bed dementia care home in Bristol. EG Carter are the partnering contractor delivering the build.

The development is one 3 new care homes in the city for dementia and extra care being developed with Bristol City Council to create beautiful therapeutic spaces for residents and a long term legacy for the care homes.

Somewhere have been invited to consider a unifying theme or approach that will help create a strong identity for the interior of the care home, encouraging a sense of belonging and community for residents.

Dementia-friendly interiors can help to support independence and dignity for those living with dementia. With careful, sensitive design residents can be supported in their independence, e.g. through use of tonal contrast in interior design to delineate handles for drawers on storage, or to emphasise entrances and exits.

The design will be homely and interesting, taking inspiration from past generations of design to reflect the age group of residents. 

Somewhere artists

Still from a film created by Somewhere. Image: Nina Pope

In working on the Brentry project the artists will consider & respond to some of the following needs & opportunities:

  • A sense of place and meaning, linked to the home’s Bristol location
  • Artwork and imagery which will encourage engagement, communication and connection through reminiscence, stories and memories
  • The design of memory boxes and other devices to aid reminiscence and recognition
  • The creation of “places to go and things to do” in lounges, quiet rooms at the ends of corridors
  • Cues that will aid navigation and legibility of spaces
  • Structures for display of changing artwork and reminiscence objects
  • Tactile materials and ways of addressing the senses
  • Materials with good acoustic properties
  • Sensory works, light based works or those that help to tackle the physical effects of dementia

The architectural approach to the building gives the appearance of a small group of buildings clustered around a central hub, with each bedroom wing seen as a separate dwelling radiating from the central heart.

Materials respect and respond to the local vernacular with tiled roofs and brick and render walls. Feature elements are included in timber and render.

Shaw’s unique design concept puts the activity of daily life at the heart of the residential accommodation. The ground floor has 2 distinct hubs, each with 12 bedrooms grouped into wings of 4 beds, grouped around a kitchen, with dining and lounge spaces arranged around this heart.




The facade is an efficient modern skin over the top of the existing structure, made of powder-coated aluminium and glass which will be easy to keep clean.