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Reassuringly familiar style helps The Nook to MacEwen shortlist

Barefoot & Gilles creates a friendly ambience and domestic scale at The Nook for East Anglian Children’s Hospices, with a ‘jumble of barns aesthetic’

Building The Nook, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices

Location Norwich, Norfolk

Architect  Barefoot & Gilles

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) is a charity providing end of life care, respite and palliative care. It enhances the lives of those with terminal conditions and supports their families through short periods of residence.

Having worked on the charity’s 2011 Treehouse in Ipswich, the architect was brought in to design The Nook. Barefoot & Gilles describes the design: ‘An informal arrangement of pitched roofs and single-storey structures creates a reassuringly familiar style appropriate for its rural setting. Internally, the principle challenge was to maintain a friendly ambience and domestic scale while integrating unobtrusively complex service requirements.’ Hugh Pearman described it endearingly as ‘a jumble of barns aesthetic’.

  • Using the pitched roofs to the full in The Nook, a complex of buildings that make up the £11m hospice.
    Using the pitched roofs to the full in The Nook, a complex of buildings that make up the £11m hospice.

A music therapy room, sensory room and day activity hall give children the mental stimulation necessary to enhance their life experience, with hydrotherapy and physiotherapy suites. The Nook is an administrative hub for care in the region and a centre for fund-raising and community events.

The £11 million CQC Outstanding-rated hospice was an ambitious undertaking for EACH which receives no government support. All funding was by public donation. The hospice has had a direct, beneficial effect for over 600 families since late 2019.

See more MacEwen shortlisted projects here


In numbers:

Cost £9,140,000

Internal floor area  2,430m2

Cost per m2 £3,761


Client East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices

Architect Barefoot & Gilles

Contractor RG Carter

Cost consultant AECOM

Structural engineers Rossi Long Engineers, K J Tait

Building assessor CNC Building Control

Sensory room equipment Mike Ayres Design

Hydrotherapy pool Aqua-Blue Designs

Specialist hoists Guldman Hoists

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