A hospice community
In approaching my thesis project, I wanted to focus on the imagery of a hospice environment and how it can make dying a meaningful part of the life cycle for everyone involved. There has been a change in our society concerning dying and the setting in which it occurs. The majority of dying which once took place at home now takes place in hospitals. Since hospitals are geared towards cure and recovery, they are inadequately prepared to deal with the problems of the dying. The home environment is also lacking in the scenario of the patient extended illness who demands around the clock care. For these reasons I felt compelled to design a freestanding hospice environment specifically suited to meet the needs of the patient rather than attempt to alter an established environment's role in the case of the home and the hospital. Currently, the number of freestanding hospice programs are rare and refer to the building types of nursing homes or other institutional facilities for their imagery. Imagery plays an important role in my approach towards creating an identity for this relatively new building type. The inherent challenge presented is to synthesize a somewhat institutional programme with a domestic idea about living.