Originally published in Interiors & Sources

02/27/2012

A Natural Refuge

Designers with Perkins + Will turn to nature to create a soothing environment for terminally ill patients and their families at the Willson Hospice House in Albany, Georgia.

By Elianne Halbersberg

 
  • Front Lobby Willson Hospice House

    The front lobby of the Willson Hospice House, with repurposed timber fireplace mantel, glu-lam beams, planked ceiling, tall window walls and bamboo flooring. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography.

    /Portals/3/images/online/0212/I_0212_Willson5.jpg

    The front lobby of the Willson Hospice House, with repurposed timber fireplace mantel, glu-lam beams, planked ceiling, tall window walls and bamboo flooring. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography. View larger

    The front lobby of the Willson Hospice House, with repurposed timber fireplace mantel, glu-lam beams, planked ceiling, tall window walls and bamboo flooring. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography.
  • Family Living Room Willson Hospice House

    A family living room featuring tall window walls, a planked ceiling, bamboo flooring and custom birch millwork. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography.

    /Portals/3/images/online/0212/I_0212_Willson6.jpg

    A family living room featuring tall window walls, a planked ceiling, bamboo flooring and custom birch millwork. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography. View larger

    A family living room featuring tall window walls, a planked ceiling, bamboo flooring and custom birch millwork. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography.
  • Patient Room Willson Hospice House

    A patient room, featuring a birch headwall and ceiling panel, window-seat bed, and double French doors leading out onto a shared porch overlooking the tranquility garden. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Ph

    /Portals/3/images/online/0212/I_0212_Willson7.jpg

    A patient room, featuring a birch headwall and ceiling panel, window-seat bed, and double French doors leading out onto a shared porch overlooking the tranquility garden. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography. View larger

    A patient room, featuring a birch headwall and ceiling panel, window-seat bed, and double French doors leading out onto a shared porch overlooking the tranquility garden. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Ph
  • Headwall Detail Shot Willson Hospice House

    A detail shot of the birch headwall in patient rooms, which disguises medical outlets, receptacles, switches, etc. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography.

    /Portals/3/images/online/0212/I_0212_Willson8.jpg

    A detail shot of the birch headwall in patient rooms, which disguises medical outlets, receptacles, switches, etc. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography. View larger

    A detail shot of the birch headwall in patient rooms, which disguises medical outlets, receptacles, switches, etc. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography.
  • Night at Willson Hospice House

    The family rooms and terraces pictured at night. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography.

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    The family rooms and terraces pictured at night. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography. View larger

    The family rooms and terraces pictured at night. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography.
  • Willson Hospice House Chapel and Terrace

    Willson Hospice House's chapel and terrace, with a family entry located just beyond. Photo by Jim Root Creative Photography.

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    Willson Hospice House's chapel and terrace, with a family entry located just beyond. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography. View larger

    Willson Hospice House's chapel and terrace, with a family entry located just beyond. Photo by Jim Root Creative Photography.
  • West courtyard Willson Hospice House

    A view of the west courtyard from the chapel terrace. Photo by Jim Root Creative Photography.

    /Portals/3/images/online/0212/I_0212_Willson1.jpg

    A view of the west courtyard from the chapel terrace. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography. View larger

    A view of the west courtyard from the chapel terrace. Photo by Jim Root Creative Photography.
  • Family Room Dining Terrace Willson Hospice House

    A family room dining terrace and typical patient porch, as seen from one of three tranquility gardens. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography.

    /Portals/3/images/online/0212/I_0212_Willson4.jpg

    A family room dining terrace and typical patient porch, as seen from one of three tranquility gardens. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography. View larger

    A family room dining terrace and typical patient porch, as seen from one of three tranquility gardens. Photo by Jim Roof Creative Photography.

LEED accreditation also remains difficult for healthcare projects, due to incremental construction and renovations that often tie into existing mechanical systems. “If you want to meet the LEED requirements, much of your work has to do with using very efficient heating and cooling and ventilation systems,” Burdette says. “If you’re stuck with an older system, it’s very hard to do what you need to do to get up to those standards. The nice thing about a hospice is that it’s almost always a free-standing building, so you’ve got a clean slate, it’s not that many square feet, and you can design your system so that it really produces some energy savings.”

Thanks to its bucolic setting, Willson Hospice House has become more than a patient-care facility for Albany; master gardeners make frequent visits to study the plant life on site, as have Boy Scout troops and other community organizations.

“We hope that this will give people the idea that hospice is a good thing to do, the right thing to do and a healthful thing,” says Burdette. “I would really like to see more hospices able to find some part of what they have—in this case, it was the campus—to tie into the heart of the towns and cities where they work, so that they take away some of the uncertainties and fears surrounding the program. Hospice is a part of the community, not something to be afraid of. The biggest thing they’re doing in Albany is getting across the idea that this is a natural part of life.”

client
WILLSON HOSPICE HOUSE
320 Foundation Ln.
Albany, GA 31707
(229) 312-5621 www.albanycommunityhospice.com

Project TEAM 
ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN
Perkins + Will
1315 Peachtree Street, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30309
(404) 873-2300
www.perkinswill.com

 


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Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
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Mitsubishi Electric’s H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide 100% heating capacity down to 0° F and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F delivering year-round comfort, regardless of climate zone.

 
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