St. Michael's Hospice

Intimately unifying the interior and gardens with the wider landscape

Located in rolling countryside the hospice extension designed by Churchman Thornhill Finch and Architype engages the interior spaces directly with the surrounding landscape.

 (Churchman Thornhill Finch)
 (Churchman Thornhill Finch)
 (Churchman Thornhill Finch)
 (Churchman Thornhill Finch)

 The scheme is comprised of a series of patient clusters offering dignified privacy to the residents. 

 

These are arranged around semi-enclosed courtyards that gradually reveal views over the wider countryside as one passes through the spaces. Each patient cluster enjoys short, medium and long views of the landscape, punctuated by pools, bridges and rock cascades which form an expression of the site's drainage, and animates the landscape with sound and movement during and after rain showers.

 (Churchman Thornhill Finch)
 (Churchman Thornhill Finch)

The idyllic, lowland area of Central Herefordshire is characterised by settled agricultural landscapes with scattered farms, relic commons and small villages. The mixed farming land use reflects the good soils on which they are typically found.

 

The planting extends the orchards of the surrounding agricultural landscape into the lower meadows, with belts of deciduous planting embracing the Hospice to the north to provide some privacy from the adjoining parking and service areas. Wildflower meadows provide the transition from the pastoral to the ornamental planting closer to the accommodation, using seed mixes that promote nectar rich varieties to aid the fruiting of the apple trees.

The hard landscape combines locally sourced natural Callow sandstone, quarried and dimensioned for the patios and reflected in the boulders used to form the cascades. This is contrasted with clay paving with stone inlays leading visitors to the main entrance.