St Michael’s Hospice is combination of sensitive retrofit and new built that is designed to make healthcare feel more human. Everything from innovative special strategies, to materiality to an animated external landscape is designed to make patients and staff feel connected – to each other, to nature and to their community.
The low carbon design doubles the hospice’s size while simultaneously reducing its energy demand and creates an integrated public realm – from external gardens that are sequenced to allow for different levels of patient privacy, to internal function space.
Supported by subtle wayfinding and high quality, natural internal spaces, the building aim is that hospice care is not the first or only way in which the community and patients engage with it.
The RIBA regional award-winner is an exemplar in therapeutic design, and offers healthcare treatment to out-patients and in-patients, organised in four-bed clusters of single room accommodation that include a shared social space, balancing privacy and with the need to avoid social isolation in residential healthcare.
Extensive stakeholder engagement reduced staff’s ‘medic miles’ by 40 percent, and a ‘care for the carers’ strategy focussed on staff wellbeing – and addressing the barriers to high-quality rest by creating a first-floor breakout space that enjoyed sweeping views of the landscape, but remained close enough for carers to respond to patients if needed.