Exemplary schemes which bring compassion and dignity to those needing support, creating familiar and nurturing places designed to help people live as normal lives as possible
The Harmonia Village, Dover
Hazle McCormack Young LLP for East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
Within one of highest areas of social deprivation in the south east, Harmonia Village is a care concept based on encouraging people living with dementia (PLWD) to lead as normal life as possible. It remodels redundant housing to provide accommodation for 30 residents with a community hub building for use by them and the local community.
Twelve semi-detached dwellings have been converted into six houses, each providing accessible accommodation for five residents. A community hub has a café and activity space and also supports the wider community. It also has six bedrooms to provide a ‘guesthouse with care’ for respite, visiting relatives or short breaks, and provides supportive facilities that reduce demand on acute hospital resources. Families know their loved ones are well cared for in an environment that encourages physical activity.
One focus is urban regeneration and so Harmonia Village aims to maximise benefits for the local area, including offering employment opportunities. The redundant housing on the site has been brought it back to life, regenerating the locality while engaging socially with surrounding residents and other facilities, like gyms. It also aims to de-stigmatise dementia and normalise the presence of people living with dementia in communities.
The Nook, Framingham Earl, Norwich
Barefoot & Gilles for East Anglia's Children's Hospices
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) is a charity providing end of life care, respite and palliative care for children, young people and their families. It enhances the lives of those with terminal conditions and supports their families by allowing short periods of residence in the hospice while their children receive care.
Having worked on its 2011 Treehouse in Ipswich, the architect was brought in to design a new hospice, The Nook. An informal design of pitched roofs and single-storey structures creates a reassuring, familiar and appropriate response to its rural setting. Internally, the challenge was to maintain a friendly ambience and domestic scale while integrating unobtrusively complex service requirements.
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’ building was an ambitious undertaking for the charity. As EACH does not receive government support, all funding was raised by public donations. The hospice has had a direct, beneficial effect on end of life and respite care for over 600 families since late 2019.
Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease in Children, London
Stanton Williams for Great Ormond Street Hospital & UCL Institute of Child Health
Sited opposite Coram’s Fields in Bloomsbury, the former site of the Foundling Hospital and a symbol of children’s welfare for over 250 years, the GOSH scheme is the world’s first purpose built paediatric centre for research and treatment of rare disease – a state-of-the-art building bringing together 500 scientists, clinicians, and academics to partner in groundbreaking research.
The 13,000m2 public-facing research facility celebrates the often invisible work of researchers and clinicians. Placing science on show, a transparent ground floor gives prominence to activities inside the labs, which are visible from all sides inside the centre as well as from the street outside. The BREEAM Excellent project is a compelling example of high environmental aspirations being possible even for a functionally complex building of this nature.
Generosity of space, natural light and sensory art create a focus on human experience. The ‘non-clinical’ architectural language diverts from the overwhelming journey of young patients and their families as they address health issues, creating a calm and dignified environment: one shared with clinicians and researchers to understand and overcome the impact of life-changing diseases. Given the pandemic, the vision behind the project seems even more relevant today: reimagining clinical and research environments as part of our shared urban and social experience.