St David's Hospice, New In-Patient Unit
by KKE Architects
Client St David's Hospice Care
Awards Welsh Architecture Award 2018, RSAW Client of the Year Award 2018 - sponsored by Tobermore
The 15-bed, in-patient hospice is a development of the original 2013 Day Hospice, itself a shortlisted project. The new building owes much of its special quality to unusually insightful clients. Their brief for the new building applies evidence gathered in the operation of the charity’s other centres and awareness of international best practice. Lessons learned have been applied in the clinical and operational aspects but also, most importantly, in the nature of the ideal aesthetic environment for end-of-life care.
Those of us who attend on a family member during their last days will not forget the character of their surroundings at that time, surroundings that are far too often both chaotic and austere. For those who have reason to visit St David’s hospice the experience is very different and, in so far as it is possible at such a time, in many ways really uplifting.
Nothing matters more to the patient than the feelings of the family that they leave behind, so it follows that the focus of design should be on the experience of visitors as much, if not more, than on the patients themselves.
The hospice is beautifully calm and serene. It achieves an air of spirituality while avoiding any implication of judgmental sanctity. The colours and materials are restrained: a tightly controlled palette of warm natural tones. The consistency is thoughtful and deliberate, a specific requirement of the client that patients and visitors should not be distracted by any implied differentiation between occupants.
Spaces for withdrawal and contemplation follow the secular spiritual approach. Natural materials are used contrary to sterile clinical convention. Hygiene control may require more effort, but the environmental aesthetic benefits take precedence over any added operational burden.
The patients’ rooms have a gentle domestic character. Clinical fixtures are unobtrusive. Furniture and built-in fittings are refined, smoothly co-ordinated and well constructed. Careful consideration has been applied to every element: nothing is left to irritate or to jar the senses. For such a complex facility this level of design control is a terrific achievement.
Contractor Andrew Scott Ltd
Quantity Surveyor/Cost Consultant Rhomco
Structural Engineers Structural Solutions
Environmental/M&E Engineers Whiteheads
Environmental/M&E Engineers Holloways Partnerships
Interior Design Elaine Lewis Designs
Contract Value £4,450,000
Internal area 1,665m²
Cost per m² £2,673/m²