The site is located on the A82, the main road from Glasgow to Loch Lomond and is adjacent to the Vale of Leven Hospital.
The VHCC, currently under construction is designed to be a state-of-the-art community health and care facility within which will be based a variety of key services including General Practices; General Dental Practice; Dietetics; Podiatry; Speech and Language Therapy; Primary Care Mental Health; Physiotherapy and Community Dental Services. It will also provide a local base for district nursing, health visiting, prescribing support as well as teaching and studying facilities.
VHCC users will be from a wide catchment area, encompassing both urban and rural communities.
Two workshops were held, bringing together four creative thinkers with members of the VHCC Art and Design Strategy Group, as part of the initial research. The following concepts were investigated and will inform each of the therapeutic art and design commissions:
The aim for each commission is to deliver specified projects to support the patient experience and the working day for staff through reference to the local natural environment by bringing the outside into the Centre and by leading the gaze beyond the walls of the building into the wider landscape.
Therapeutic Art and Design at the Vale of Leven Centre for Health and Care
Unique artworks made by four of Scotland’s leading artists commissioned to reflect the local natural environment are permanently installed in the building and grounds of an inspirational new health and care centre for the Vale of Leven West Dunbartonshire
By focusing on the surrounding locality each artist tells a different story about people and place through a range of media including textiles, painting, photography and wood.
Working with staff and the community, each artist has produced integrated artworks designed to support orientation, to bring the outside into the building and to promote a sense of wellbeing for patients, visitors and staff.
Artist Jephson Robb was tasked to create seating from the trees felled on site during the building process, to be situated in the atrium and at the two approaches to the building. Five sculptural benches are now permanently in place offering both resting points and beautiful objects to enjoy which work in harmony with the design of the new building itself.
Scotland’s foremost environmental artists Dalziel and Scullion have made four beautiful light emitting artworks which explore the wild and cultivated plants growing on allotments in the patient catchment area, bringing a sense of the domestic into the healthcare environment.
Donald Urquhart developed two works which focused on the near and far. The first piece was influenced by the pot shards found on the site during the excavation process for the new building. Dating back to the Bronze Age their beautiful geometric markings informed the design for the manifestation for the gym window, offering privacy for staff and patients in the gym yet allowing views out whilst letting plenty of light in.
The second work was inspired by the stunning mountain scenery so close to the Vale of Leven and designed to integrate seamlessly into the new building. Painted as a modernist pixilated frieze around the first floor of the atrium are colours capturing the soft autumn and winter beauty of the Loch Lomond and the Trossacks, offering a contrast to the close up detail of the allotment images by Dalziel and Scullion.
Textile artist Deirdre Nelson worked with pupils at the Vale of Leven academy to research the history of the area within living memory and create artworks from the gathered stories which were incorporated into a design printed onto healthcare curtains for the couches in the GP consulting rooms.
The design and build of the Centre was commissioned by West Dumbartonshire Community Health and Care Partnership and managed by NHS Greater Clyde and Glasgow. The Therapeutic Art and Design strategy was managed and delivered by Wide Open.
West Dumbartonshire Community Health and Care Partnership would like to thank the dedicated involvement of the staff and pupils at the Vale of Leven Academy, the patient focus groups and NHS staff, without whom his project would not have been possible.