South East Queensland’s first Step Up Step Down facility is located in the Brisbane suburb of Nundah. Nundah House is a short stay mental health residential care facility derived from a successful model implemented in Victoria and the ACT. The aim of a Step Up Step Down facility is to provide a clinically supported environment as an alternative to hospital admission (Step Up), and as a transition from a stay in hospital before going home (Step Down).
Located within a high density residential street, the building discretely blends into its context. Designed as a homely, welcoming environment, it is a stark contrast to a hospital environment. Through colour, texture, light and landscape, the building accommodates communal uses and private spaces, allowing client engagement and retreat in a variety of forms.
The ground level of the building contains a communal living, dining and kitchen area, reception, staff offices and staff accommodation. On the upper levels are individual, self contained rooms, including two wheelchair accessible rooms, as well as additional communal outdoor living, laundry facilities and meeting spaces.
The building design and construction spanned four years and included extensive consultation with potential clients, carers, clinical staff, other support staff and authorities. The result of the consultation is a building which has been well received by all and will hopefully become an exemplar project for the mental health sector.