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).
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.
"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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Photography is by Tim Soar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Client: North London Hospice
Client Representative: Procore Project Solutions Ltd
Architect: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Main Contractor: Pavehall Plc
Landscape Architect: BB UK
Quantity Surveyor: Equals Cost Consultancy
Structural/Civil Engineer: Elliott Wood Partnership LLP
Services Engineer: Atelier Ten
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
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