The Ardgowan Hospice is an institution of Greenock seen as an integral part of the local and wider Inverclyde community.
The project and vision for the new Hospice building is to provide a purpose built In Patient Unit with Day Care provisions and volunteer, visitor and staff amenity all aimed at enhancing the Ardgowan Hospice as an exemplar palliative care facility.
The site of the proposal sits on the south-eastern edge of the Greenock’s West End Conservation Area. A key driver for the project is the desire to form a close link with the immediate and unique built context.
In terms of materiality the project considers stone and brick for the external skin of the building which aims to reinforce the buildings connection to its surroundings.
The material attitude to brick as the dominant material has been carefully considered providing a sense of coherence and a feeling of longevity. Equally the proposal offers a physical and psychological connection back to the existing nearby historic brick built hospice building.
The fundamental underlying principles of the design at every stage has centred around patient care.
There are a number of challenges inherent in the brief related to the patient, staff, volunteer and visitor experiences. A sense of arrival and departure, the navigation of the building, and the ability for the spaces to provide ultimate comfort and practicality.
The IPU has been positioned on the top floor to provide maximum privacy, daylight and views out for the patients. This decision was made following extensive workshop discussions. The organisational principle is proposed for 8-single bedded patient rooms arranged in two clusters of four focused around a hierarchy of public to private spaces.
The proposals are searching for an appropriate urban character forming a continuation of the ‘city block’. The location is unique in that it is where the residential urban block pattern of the conservation area of Greenock meets a collection of public buildings. The continuation of the urban block façades was considered important to the scheme. The building is of a height that is consistent with both of its neighbours while developing its own sculptural language.
While the main elevation of the building on Ardgowan Street offers a rhythm and quiet solidity in keeping with the surrounding tenement blocks, the composition of the gable on Nelson Street provides a sculpted familiar permanence that brings a quality of protection and comfort to the atmosphere of the building. It is intended and indeed hoped that a level of continuity and inheritance from context can be recognized in this architectural language and the new building is read as a valuable piece of townscape, belonging to and part of Greenock.