In the year 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 for 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 wheelchair-bound and bedridden patients.
A project like this where you are able to affect someone’s last time in life and ensure that it becomes a time of dignity, that challenge brings the project extra close to one’s heart. Our aim was to meet the high requirements on accessibility without compromising on either content or quality. It is a goal we have succeeded with at Västerås hospital, which now is an intimate and stimulating environment.
Landscape Architecture: Topia Landskapsarkitekter
BUILT YEAR: 2017
Photo: Thomas Zaar