The Nottinghamshire Hospice has been a client of Franklin Ellis Architects for a number of years, during which time we have completed two projects for them. The first project provided a much needed sub room for day care and the subsequent extension won a commendation in the Nottingham Lord Mayor’s Awards. The phase two project completed the rationalisation and upgrade of the Hospice, improving the kitchen and dining facilities and creating a delightful landscaped courtyard.
Having completed the architectural phases attention is now being turned to the landscape and its access. The magnificent gardens are such a great asset for the hospice, but the steeply sloping site is more than a storey down from the ground floor, making it virtually inaccessible to patients.
Through our recent design work a terrace has been formed at the upper level, to be enjoyed as a deck outside the lounge as well as providing space for wheelchair access to a new lift. This lift takes people down to the lower patio areas, leading to various south-facing terraces surrounding the reinstated pond. The rock garden has been extended and curved to provide gardening opportunities for wheelchair users, extending its length to ease the gradient down to the vegetable garden. Here the ‘rill’ water feature has been reinstated, preserving the historic context of the design. However, the rill has been integrated into the garden with paving surrounding both it and the planting beds that step along the length of the specimen trees. Footpath links meander between and around these areas, screened both by the gradients and planting to add to their interest. Lighting to the pond and garden generally will add interest and also provide a spectacular view from the Hospice itself.
The levels have neatly separated the garden into different areas, each of which will have sponsors, who have kindly offered both financial and manpower support to the Hospice to help them achieve their dream. The redevelopment garden should add a whole new dimension to the building for its users to enjoy.