Saturday05 September 2015

First look: AHMM takes domestic approach with suburban hospice scheme

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Architect designs £1.8 million building to feel like a ‘big version of someone’s house’

AHMM has revealed images of its new centre for the charity North London Hospice in a quiet residential area of north London. The building will offer specialist palliative care to patients with life-limiting illnesses, who will be encouraged to drop in for a chat, join in creative therapies, undergo treatments or simply relieve their carers.

The L-shaped building is expressed as two sliding volumes, clad in rough textured brickwork, that frame a courtyard at the rear of the site, with circulation housed between the two pitched-roof forms. A generous porte-cochère receives visitors into a meet-and-greet space, leading through to a large multi-purpose daycare room that opens out on to the courtyard and enjoys daylight from the pitched roof.

Smaller rooms for creative therapies, a rest room, wet room and a hairdresser lead off this main space, while a large kitchen and dining room is housed in the smaller volume to the rear.

“We wanted it to feel like a big version of someone’s house,” said AHMM director Paul Monaghan. “It is important that patients can feel at home, and that it doesn’t have the clinical feeling of a hospital.”

The first floor of the larger volume houses consultation, therapy and interview rooms, while the adjacent building contains a conference space and meeting room, with a balcony overlooking the street. The pitched attic spaces are given over to offices and a staff room, which also enjoys a recessed balcony.

The £1.8 million project started on site last year and is scheduled for completion in April.


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