The children and youth hospice, Strandbakkehuset, has been designed as the first newly built hospice of its kind in Denmark. It has been designed to provide space for life, play and alleviation, thereby offering a vital home for children, young people and their families in a vulnerable time of their lives.
Provides space for quality of life
Quality of life is a keyword in the design of Strandbakkehuset, which contains four family residences, a staff section and several shared functions. Its purpose as a hospice is to embrace life for children and young people in a vulnerable situation. Life, play and alleviation are accordingly essential values for the hospice, and it is with these values as our premise that we have not only studied the construction programme but also carried out thorough research and anthropological field studies. The result is five focus points for the design of the hospice, ensuring that it is capable of offering a meaningful everyday life for children and young people, their families and the staff who will be supporting them during their time at the hospice.
Offers new experiences
Strandbakkehuset builds upon Hospice Djursland’s special qualities, where its beautiful location at the top of the slope provides space for contemplation and reflection. It is a place that incorporates the view and the long perspective into its design. However, Strandbakkehuset will not settle for simply building on the existing hospice’s qualities. It also offers new experiences for the benefit of the hospice’s residents: Children, youths and their families. At Strandbakkehuset, the focus will not be on the long perspective, but rather on life up close, experiences for the senses and the idea of living in the here and now.
Surrounded by nature
Strandbakkehuset is beautifully situated atop a slope right in the middle of nature. Rather than standing out from its scenic surroundings, the building appears to draw it in through openings and displacements, allowing the proximity to the lake and forest to act as a unique and special characteristic of Strandbakkehuset. The building is thus not only placed as a natural extension of Hospice Djursland, but opens outwards, advancing towards its near surroundings in some places and retreating away from them in others, resulting in work of architecture with interesting features from all sides. At the same time, the many openings and offsets break the building down into smaller and less overwhelming components, creating a wealth of outlook spots and spaces.
The staff section and family residences
The staff section has been located as a natural part of the building’s main entrance. It is a strategic placement that makes it easy to keep track of who has entered and left the building while also ensuring optimal proximity and access to all the functions of the building. The family residences are built in a staggered formation over the slope in two storeys, bringing them up close to the forest line and offering beautiful panoramic views of the scenic surroundings of the hospice. In addition, all the family residences are equivalent in terms of the view and distance to the staff section.
"Research has shown that the residents’ perception of proximity and visual contact with the staff contributes to the feeling of comfort and security," - Johanne Mose Entwistle / Anthropologist and head of documentation at AART.