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P-274  Designing with care: hospice design since 1980
  1. Mura Mullan1,
  2. Jane Darbyshire1,
  3. Peter Holgate2,
  4. Julie Trueman2 and
  5. Soo Darcy3
  1. 1Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall Architects, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2Northumbria University
  3. 3Papyrus Research


We are a firm of architects with over 30 years of ongoing, developmental and iterative experience in the field of hospice design; throughout this time we have worked on over 40 hospice projects. Our work in this area began in 1980 when our founder won a competition to design a hospice in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, marking the start of an exciting architectural journey working with many hospices across the UK and Ireland that continues to this day.

Each of our hospice buildings provides a rich case study for post-occupancy evaluations, and to that end we are currently undertaking research aimed at tracking the development of hospice design since 1980 and obtaining guidance on how hospice requirements are likely to change over the coming years. To do this we are visiting twelve of our most significant hospice buildings and speaking to key stakeholders to gain a thorough understanding of:

  • What worked and what didn’t over this range of projects?

  • What themes emerge as key factors in determining the success of a hospice building?

  • How has the ethos of our practice influenced the outcomes of these projects?

  • How could future hospice design respond to the changing political, demographic, social and regulatory context of healthcare design in the UK?

We are working with a leading North Eastern university to evaluate our findings; our underlying aim is to use a rich and multivalent approach to post-occupancy evaluation to uncover emerging themes that contribute towards the positive improvement of future hospice designs and their consequent benefit to patients, staff and the wider community.

When the research is complete it is hoped that the finished project will serve as a useful database for hospices that are undertaking capital design projects, as well as medical and architectural students with an interest in palliative care.

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work noncommercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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