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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

We all know about the ability of nature to aid in the healing process, but at the Willson Hospice House in Albany, Ga., designers with Perkins + Will have harnessed natural views and elements to create a sense of refuge for terminally ill patients and their loved ones.

The 34,000-square-foot, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver facility sits on 12 acres of a 120-acre site, and is the first healthcare facility to receive certification as an Audubon International Silver Signature Sanctuary. The property hosts a variety of indigenous species, a walking trail, healing gardens, an outdoor chapel, natural pond and bird sanctuary.

Inside, the Willson Hospice House is organized into a series of three “pods,” each of which contain a central living area around which six inpatient rooms are grouped. Each pod has a kitchenette, chapel, sunroom, children’s area and outdoor terrace. Individual patient rooms offer window-seat beds for overnight visitors, double doors so that patient beds can be rolled outside, large storage areas for personal items, overhead ceiling fans, Volker beds and adjustable reading lights, and headwalls behind the beds to conceal medical outlets and equipment.

Ila Burdette, architecture and planning, and Amy Sickeler, interior designer at Perkins + Will, were responsible for taking Willson Hospice House from concept to reality. The two women have worked together for 20 years, implementing the pod concept into the world of hospice care. “People in assisted living and nursing do better in small groups than in units of 40 or 60,” says Burdette. “That’s working its way into more and more projects, and we’re glad about that.”


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

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.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 
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