Hospice is a concept of caring derived from medieval times, symbolizing a place where travelers, pilgrims and the sick, wounded or dying could find rest and comfort. Hospice emphasizes palliative rather than curative treatment, quality rather than quantity of life. Hospice affirms life and regards dying as a normal process. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death. Professional medical care is given, and sophisticated symptom relief provided. The patient and family are both included in the care plan and emotional, spiritual and practical support is given based on the patient's wishes and family's needs. Unlike an adult hospice where the care provided is comparatively short and at the end of an adult life, a children's hospice works alongside the family through the months, maybe years of care and beyond until death. At a children's hospice the whole family can stay if they wish, at repeated intervals. A hospice environment should make the children feel as comfortable and happy as possible as if they were visiting a friend, not a hospital or institution.
This thesis will explore the reconciliation of technology and human need in the design of a Children's Hospice by addressing program, character, materials and scale, in particular.
The hospice will be proposed as an additional feature to the Johns Hopkins campus in Baltimore, Maryland. As such, the design solution will address elements of urban design and campus planning.
A Master Plan for the site will be proposed, indicating massing, use, relationships and spatial definition of open spaces. Location on the site will reflect relationships and attitudes toward the urban landscape that will strengthen the existing campus and promote the new program. The program will include but not be limited to patient rooms, family residential spaces, specialty care facilities, medical procedure facilities and offices, play areas (indoor and outdoor), reading room/library, small chapel, dining room and kitchen, physical therapy facilities, and landscape.
There will be a strong focus on creating an environment that seeks to promote comfort, stimulate intellect, and provide emotional support, so that patients and their families can concentrate on living each day to its fullest.