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Ryder Architecture completes blue slate hospice in Glasgow

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The hospice is spread over 5,840m² of social spaces, patient accommodation and therapy rooms

Having outgrown its previous accommodation within listed townhouses in Glasgow city centre, the Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice (PPWH) fundraised to build this new facility. The hospice is spread over three floors and includes social space, patient bedrooms, a garden room, art therapy room, a central social kitchen, chapel and courtyards.

Caring for just over 1,200 patients and families each year, PPWH aims to deliver a specific type of holistic care which is reflected in the hospice’s design. The centre links both its internal and external environments with large open communal areas and a series of courtyards. 

Ppwh aj (c)keith hunter photography (12)

The spaces are laid out as efficiently as possible, with two wings coming off the main bulk – reducing staff walking distances and allowing more time for patient care.

A simple palette of materials ties the spaces together, emphasising the building’s qualities of quietness and durability. The building is clad is natural Penrhyn heather blue slate while the inside is lined with timber to create warmth. The slate’s density and permeability differs on every facade, depending on its interior functions, sunlight and site conditions.

Ppwh aj (c)keith hunter photography (17)

Architect’s view

The previous PPWH complex, a series of listed townhouses, was no longer able to provide satisfactory accommodation to meet growing requirements. In response to the changing requirements of modern healthcare, PPWH is the first UK hospice to follow the Sengetun model. This innovative Scandinavian layout challenges the shortcomings of conventional ward planning and puts patients and families first – providing private, dignified and compassionate care.

The model is based on research that correlates a healthcare facility’s design with patient wellbeing, offering patients the quality of life they deserve in a place that should feel like home, while the clinical / medical assistance is carried out discreetly in the background. The domestic scale of the spaces makes it easier for patients to identify and orientate themselves comfortably within smaller groups. Staff response times are also shortened, which in turn improves patient safety and support.

PPWH is a special place which feels comfortably like home – humble, dignified, unobtrusive and private when required – and is exemplary in leading the way in palliative care, transforming the traditional concept of a hospice.

Alastair Forbes, architectural director, Ryder Architecture

Edit ppwh publication 1.500 @ a4 lower ground floor

Lower ground floor plan

Client’s view

The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice was designed to support patients with a life limiting illness to live their lives to the full in the time that they have left.

The design is based on the Scandinavian Sengetun model - it really concentrates on the people who use it, rather than concentrating on traditional healthcare processes and models which create potential barriers and miss the human perspective.

The new hospice aims to provide an environment that is non-clinical in feel and appearance but will house the latest in clinical equipment without it being apparent.

There are no barriers, such as nurses’ stations, as patients told us that visibility of staff really reduces stress and is reassuring. Our clinical team can be found in communal areas which make them accessible to all.

Taking Florence Nightingale’s saying ’nature alone cures’, access and visibility to our lush green outside spaces have reduced stress and, in turn, aim to promote a feeling of wellbeing.

Rhona Baillie, chief executive officer, The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice

Edit ppwh all elevations a4 elevation 01 east (1)

East elevation

Project data

Start on site January 2015
Completion May 2019
Gross internal floor area 5,840m²
Form of contract or procurement route Design & Build
Construction cost £21 million
Architect Ryder Architecture
Client The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice
Structural engineer Woolgar Hunter
M&E consultant Atelier Ten
Interior design Burns Interior Design
Cost consultant AECOM
Planning consultant Scott Hobbs Planning
Health and safety Fairhurst
Construction legal Pinsent Masons
Clerk of works Ross Quality Control
Landscape architect erz
Project manager Turner & Townsend
Main contractor Balfour Beatty

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