Yamazaki Kentaro has designed a hospice facility in japan that blends seamlessly with the natural surroundings. The newly unveiled establishment plays an intermediate role between a home and a hospital, providing palliative care for terminally-ill cancer patients. The design seeks to generate a warm environment with a quotidian atmosphere, rather than a typically cold hospital. Arranged to avoid the existing trees in the site, the building consists of a compact medical care room and nurses’ station, connected by a corridor that gives sequential continuity to the space and serves as a place for patients to spend time with family and friends.
Its great respect for human dignity as well as its pleasant interiors that give warmth and comfort to the patients are some of the reasons why the Kawamura Palliative Care ward has received the g-mark good design award, as one of the best 100 ideas of 2021.
Yamazaki Kentaro’s design brings nature inside
Visiting or staying in a hospice is not a particularly pleasant experience for neither the patients nor their families. Nevertheless, this kind of facility should make individuals feel at home, no matter their health status or disabilities. With this in mind, Yamazaki Kentaro (find more here) designed the Kawamura hospital as a fluid, amicable space, opening towards unobstructed views of the lush garden. In the generous common areas, all patients can gather and interact with each other, so that nobody feels left out or alone.
The materiality of the project is mainly comprised of neutral, calm tones and wood. Sofas are installed in various parts of the common corridor, extending from east to west, so that patients and guests can sit, interact with others, enjoy a book, and so on. Large openings provide patients with generous views of the garden outside, bringing nature in. At the same time, wooden decks are set up on each terrace so that both patients and their families can freely enter and exit the garden, and enjoy the flowing water and greenery of the stream in the courtyard.
Designed by Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop
All images courtesy of Yamazaki Kentaro Design Workshop