The Lentegeur Spring Project - A Project of the Lentegeur Hospital Facilities Board
The aim of the Spring Project is to revolutionise mental health care delivery by turning a place of rejection and despair into an emblem of beauty and hope by introducing a world first in socio-economic and environmental rehabilitation. The concept of Spring is brought to life through healing people and the environment.
This project uses permaculture design principles, that guides us to mimic and apply the patterns and relationships we find in nature. The designers believe that healing does not occur in isolation and that the community should reach out to those who are unwell, and offer them a place in their lives and an opportunity to connect.
With the Spring Project the designers want to re-design what a psychiatric hospital look and feel like by using ecological principles. They want to move away from the hospital being a "prison" by using the "spring" metaphor as the rebirth of hope through connection. This will be achieved by helping patients to connect to nature.
The Spring Project includes a radical transformation of the hospital's current degraded landscape into beautiful gardens and food gardens and psycho-social rehabilitation and outreach programmes to enable food gardening, recycling and other initiatives that develop social and environmental skills.
The design aims to move away from a culture where the mentally ill was removed from society and transform the Lentegeur Hospital to a centre of healing by involving the community. The Lentegeur Spring Project will also drive transformation in the impoverished Cape Flats communities, and build resilience and self-reliance by using nature.