Community Nursing Units


  • Ballinasloe, Galway
  • Loughrea, Galway
  • Inchicore, Dublin 6
  • Clonskeagh, Dublin
  • St. Mary’s, Gurranabraher, Cork

The five Community Nursing Unit projects around the country were built under the Design & Build contract form. We approached the projects as separate entities, but with certain aims and features in common. The landscape design concept for the CNU’s had two distinct but complementary aims. The first was to create a unique visual setting for the care environment – a vibrant, lush setting with a strong sense of place for future patients. The second aim was based on the practical requirements of the site and the users, including diverse issues such as universal accessibility, patient well-being/ fitness, areas for exercise and activity (to complement the indoor therapy spaces), site security and privacy.

To achieve these aims, the external spaces were enhanced with select landscape treatments, which also aid in creating a visual identity and orientating patients. Focal points, such as lighting, water features or distinctive plant specimens are included and are complemented by high quality materials, encompassing paving, site furniture, lighting, site boundaries, planting materials and all landscape treatments. The proposed treatments enhance not just the visual environment, but also provide varied tactile, aural and olfactory stimuli. Therapy spaces were also included, such as paved spaces for group physiotherapy or areas with varied surfaces, which may be of benefit for occupational therapy.

CNU Ballinasloe – four garden spaces were designed to provide a variety of spaces and opportunities for patient recreation. Facilities include numerous seating spaces, a boules court, shelters, exercise areas and decks.

CNU St. Brendan’s, Loughrea – dramatic level changes created challenges for accessibility but sweeping views over Lough Rea make for dramatic gardens.

CNU Inchicore – there are two principal aspects to the landscape scheme, firstly the secure garden spaces directly related to the Community Nursing Unit and secondly the shared garden to the north.

CNU Clonskeagh Hospital – the garden spaces were designed to take advantage of the morning and evening aspects. Significant existing trees were retained.



Project Info.

  • Client: Health Services
  • Year of Project: 2006 - 2012

  • Design & Build Contract Team
  • Contractor: ABM Europe
  • Architect: Cullen Payne Architects