Building on the experience of the Healthy-Air Home, this was an excellent opportunity to utilise the real health benefits of plants for patients at St Christopher’s Hospice. This multi-purpose conservatory is used as a treatment room and as a space for family visits. The plants offer the function of their natural air cleaning qualities†, while their aesthetic provides a much needed homely and relaxing environment for these activities.
It was a joy to work closely with the interior designer, Sue Hunter of Hunter Design Associates who brought her years of experience in designing spaces for healthcare. And under the guidance of Hedley Finn MBE, who’s vision of a need for an holistic and enriching experience for terminally ill patients with limited mobility led to the creation of this wonderful space. Employing biophilic* principles; large windows on two sides overlook a mature garden, a garden scene mural on a third side covers the full wall and both work alongside the abundance of plants to give a deep and pleasant immersion in nature.
† Discover more about Nasa’s seminal clean air study on the benefits of houseplants, and their ability to remove harmful toxins and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene.
* Biophilia is a term used to describe our innate affinity for nature (mainly focusing on plants and greenery), it is well known to architects who employ it in the form of green roofs and green walls and is becoming the subject of extensive psychological research. Here is a lovely article in Design Curial on it’s use for enriching spaces in interior design.