North London Hospice

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris as Architects

Designed to be ‘a big version of someone’s house’ to instil a domestic sense of well-being, North London Hospice offers specialist palliative care to patients with life-limiting illnesses. Set on a prominent corner in a quiet residential area of north London, the massing of this brick building is broken down into two north facing gables with circulation interleaved between. A single-storey multi-pitched extension at the rear completes the L-shaped plan and frames a south-facing private courtyard for the enjoyment of patients. Conceived from both the inside-out and the outside-in, the expansive windows set around a simple palette of brick and timber, ensure a series of light and airy spaces that are well-connected – both physically and visually – with their external environment.

North London Hospice

BBUK STUDIO LIMITED as Landscape Architects

Working closely with architects AHMM the building and gardens for a new day centre for North London Hospice were completed in 2012.

It has long been known that a garden can have therapeutic qualities and it is now widely recognised that access, even if this is purely visual, has a salutary effect on a person’s mental and physical health. The generous ground floor windows of the building ensure the gardens are a constant presence when viewed from inside so that even those users unable to get outside themselves could contemplate the garden from within.’

The work of NLH started in 1984 and bridges the traumatic gap between diagnosis of a fatal illness and death, both for families and for the dying. They provide multi-faith palliative support for people living in Barnet, Enfield and Haringey offering physiotherapy, creative therapies, 24 hour patient care and bereavement support, all free of charge. The hospice has two main gardens, a private south facing courtyard surrounded on two sides by the building and a more public north facing space. Large windows from the café and therapy rooms open out into south courtyard; windows from the reception rooms and café have views over the northern courtyard.

At the centre of the south courtyard is a large brick clad raised pond. Water is seen as an important element in a therapeutic landscape and it was part of the brief to provide a pool for the garden. Harriet Bourne states, ‘Water is a calming agent, still water can provide a setting for meditation or prayer while the natural sound provided and view of moving water is undeniably restorative.’ The pool at NLH has two parts a higher tranquil, reflective pool this spills via a generous slate spout into a lower planted area. The slate copings, which were chosen to match the colour palette of the building’s window frames, are set at a height to provide informal seating. Slightly raised square beds with steel edging are planted with predominantly evergreen, blue and white flowering shrubs, perennials and bulbs. Of the planting Harriet says; ‘Seasonality was seen as an important aspect of the planting design despite the fact that during winter months there will be less colour, it was felt that the benefit of, for example, seeing early spring bulbs emerging from the bare earth far out weighed those gained with a more static planting scheme.

The north facing garden is more public, connecting with the café and bounded by the street. Generous windows provide views into the garden from the reception area and café on the ground floor. A mix of tall grasses and flowering perennials are grown against the front boundary wall these together with groves of large flowering shrubs provide some privacy to the garden and for the building users without entirely blocking the views into or out of the building. The ambition is that by informally opening out views to the local community it will help to break down the preconception of a hospice as an institutional or frightening. Three groups of highly scented shrub species have been chosen for the northern garden each one flowering in a different season, Amalanchier in spring, Clerodendron in the autumn and Hamamelis in the winter, a group of summer flowering Magnolia are planted in the south facing garden. The shrubs are under-planted with a mixture of evergreen, flowering shrubs and perennials.

The car park is surfaced in porous resin bound aggregate and the courtyards are paved in hand made clay bricks laid over a recycled sub-base achieving a minimum Green Guide rating for hard materials of A throughout. All the planting is maintained by hospice volunteers with on-going advice provided by BBUK Studio.


Procore Project Solutions Limited as Tenants

North London Hospice (NLH) has been caring for local people in the community since 1984. Acting as a registered charity they provide care and spiritual support to those with potentially life limiting illnesses and their friends and family.

As a long term supporter of the NLH, Procore was delighted to help the Hospice facilitate a refurbishment project at their Finchley centre. The NLH wanted to refurbish and uplift their existing entrance area of their Finchley centre to provide a more comfortable and relaxing environment for patients and their friends and family members.

“Procore worked with us to ensure that through sensitively designed spaces and gardens, together with the assistance of professional staff, the Hospice could achieve its aim of helping people live with life-limiting illnesses, providing emotional, spiritual and practical support to them, their families, friends and carers. Procore has always provided the Hospice with a very professional service, on time and to challenging budgets.” North London Hospice CEO

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