North London Hospice by
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

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London practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris used pale brick walls, gabled roof profiles and domestic furniture to make this London hospice look like an oversized house (+ slideshow).

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

The North London Hospice was designed to provide support and treatment for patients with a life-limiting or terminal illness, within a less clinical environment than a hospital ward.

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

"We wanted to give the building a domestic quality," AHMM's Paul Monaghan told Dezeen. "This is a healthcare building that does not feel institutional or clinical. And this was the aspiration, that people feel at home in this building."

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

The architects added a pale brick to give a uniform appearance to the exterior walls. "Brick, of course, has strong associations with the idea of a home," added Monaghan. "Its use also enabled us to blend in with the adjacent suburban semi-detached houses, although its lighter tone was intended to subtly highlight the building's public nature."

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

The main volume of the structure comprises two prominent gables, both three storeys in height, while a single-storey extension accommodates extra rooms at the rear and frames a south-facing courtyard.

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Visitors arrive through an entrance on the eastern facade. There's no reception, to avoid the feel of an institution, so this route leads directly to an informal lounge at the heart of the building.

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

From here, visitors can walk through to a daycare room at the back of the building, or find their way to treatment rooms on either of the two lower floors.

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

A kitchen and dining room is located within the second gable on the western side of the building and opens out to the private courtyard.

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

North London Hospice is the latest in a string of domestic buildings designed for patient care, following a number of Maggie's cancer-care centres to complete in recent years. See more stories about healthcare buildings.

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris is best-known for its Stirling Prize-nominated Angel Building and Westminster Academy, also both in London. See more London architecture on Dezeen.

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Photography is by Tim Soar.

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Here's a project description from AHMM:


North London Hospice

The North London Hospice provides a new uplifting base for the North London Hospice charity that incorporates a range of new services and encourages patients to drop-in for a chat, join in creative therapies, undergo treatments or simply relieve their carers.

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Site plan - click for larger image and key

Completed in May 2012, the building fulfils the aspiration to increase the provision of palliative care in Enfield in a contemporary, beautiful and non-clinical environment. Over the course of three years the client, architect, design team and user group worked closely to develop a brief and building that meets and exceeds patient needs by creating a special place for them in the heart of their community.

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Ground floor plan - click for larger image and key

Set in a suburban residential area of north London, the building form is that of an overscale house – utilising pitched roofs and traditional brick construction. Located on a prominent corner, the two north facing gables form the main accommodation linked by circulation spaces and a single storey extension to the rear.

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
First floor plan - click for larger image and key

A generous entrance canopy receives visitors into a meet-and-greet space, leading through to a large multi-purpose daycare room and open plan kitchen and café area which frame a south facing courtyard. Smaller rooms for creative therapies, a hairdresser, and rest room support the key ground floor spaces. The first floor houses clinical, interview and teaching activities, with the pitched second floor providing flexible administrative facilities. All the upper rooms have generous views overlooking allotments to the south and playing fields to the north.

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Second floor plan - click for larger image and key

It was important to both the client and architect that the building felt light and airy and created a domestic sense of wellbeing so as to avoid any negative institutional connotations. The simple palette of brick and timber and muted colours all contribute to a calm and gentle environment for patients and carers.

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Long section

Client: North London Hospice
Client Representative: Procore Project Solutions Ltd
Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Main Contractor: Pavehall Plc

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Cross section

Landscape Architect: BB UK
Quantity Surveyor: Equals Cost Consultancy
Structural/Civil Engineer: Elliott Wood Partnership LLP
Services Engineer: Atelier Ten

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
North elevation - click for larger image

CDM Coordinator: Total CDM
Landscape Contractor: Gavin Jones Group
Acoustic Consultant: Paul Gillieron Acoustic Design
Ecological Consultant: John Wenman Ecological Consultancy LLP
Highways/Traffic Consultants: JMP Consultants
Approved Inspector: Guy Shattock Associates

North London Hospice by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
East elevation - click for larger image
  • JayCee

    Simple, elegant, and well executed. I think it’s only the lift shaft quite apparent between the two volumes that is somewhat of a shame.

  • Zev

    It all makes sense to me, other than the open gable where the bricks are either glued to something like a concrete frame or AHMM managed to break the law of physics.
    How does this work? A triangular ‘arch’ with no load on the side walls?

  • $£$£$

    Whilst I generally applaud the move towards these new designs for hospices, I have to disagree with the claim that “this London hospice look like an oversized house”. To my mind, from certain angles, it looks more like a period light-industrial or agricultural building, which isn’t a pleasant evocation given its purpose. I think the Maggie Centres are generally more appropriate. Some nice details though.

  • blau

    Great restraint shown by the architects, this really sets it apart! Would like to see more photos of the outdoor landscaped area, which looks to be very well considered.
    The architects obviously worked hard to integrate the facility into the streetscape, and it really shows.

  • yogesh

    This is beautiful. Excellent use of materials, light and space. This is a great example of how good design can improve lives and treatment of people who are ill. A very clear and well grounded concept which is excecuted elegantly and sensitively. I like it :D

    I think another prize is heading their way

  • sash

    Far too much contrast in the material palette. The fenestration positioning clashes on the exterior. Other than that, pretty standard AHMM bore.