In 2015, Topia Landscape architects developed a design proposal for the outdoor environment at the department for palliative care at Västerås’ hospital.
Palliative care has the primary goal of improving the quality of life of patients or relatives of patients facing physical, psychological, social or spiritual challenges associated with a life-threatening illness. To design a space for a person at the end of their life is a delicate act of balance between technical and sensory parameters; the environment must meet high requirements on accessibility, while at the same time offering various spaces for both social interaction and calm contemplation on one’s own.
The design focuses on sensory experience and aims to stimulate sight, hearing, smell and touch. A large variation in plant material forms an environment that varies throughout the seasons in both visual expression and fragrance. Rippling water from a bird bath, birds chirping and the buzzing of insects stimulate hearing. Perennials and water elements are placed at an adjusted height to be enjoyed by bedridden or wheelchair-bound patients.
To design an intimate yet stimulating environment, while at the same time meeting high requirements on accessibility make this kind of task very special – and brings the project a little extra close to one’s heart.
Landscape Architecture: Topia Landskapsarkitekter
BUILT YEAR: 2017
Photo: Thomas Zaar