Gilling Dod Architects have been working closely with Claire House Children’s Hospice since 2013 to undertake a major refurbishment project to develop their existing premises. The scheme involved a new main entrance, other extensions, landscaping and remodelling including upgrading six bedrooms, the milk kitchen, a new teenage den, reception area and counselling/holistic therapies suite and some communal areas.
The new main entrance extension provides the much needed additional entry space which was urgently required for the arrival of families with large equipment. The designs deliver an inviting and welcoming area for anxious and vulnerable young people whilst ensuring the building is easy to navigate with automatic full wheelchair and secure access.
The entrance has been planned in consultation with the staff and users to achieve a bold and bright approach, distinctive and of high quality design and specification providing an open and child friendly entrance which is in synergy with the Claire House Hospice environment.
We have used a palette of some existing materials and introduced new feature panels of glazing, timber laminate and render. We have used coloured glazing with ceramic infill panels to add interest and to appeal to children. Low level windows at child height provide views into the main reception and high level circular windows provide light and interest to the stair tower and meeting rooms. The curved roof over the reception unifies these elements and gives the Hospice an identifiable entrance area upon approach and a distinctive recognisable image.
The overwhelming local sentimentality towards the Hospice, and its importance to the local community and County, provided a critical need for a sensitive and inclusive design and we are delighted to have worked with Claire House Hospice to provide an even greater level of comfort to families in their time of need.