Long held ambition in sight as industry unites to design respectful scheme

27 January 2017
Barnet Council’s planning committee has given the final go-ahead for Noah’s Ark to construct its hospice building. The committee’s approval emphasised respect for the natural environment, requiring an appropriate landscaping scheme.

Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice chief executive Ru Watkins welcomed the decision saying, “Our build team has worked tirelessly to integrate the important environmental requirements of our site and the needs of children and families who will be using this building for vital hospice services.

“The two sets of needs are very much aligned, as environmental considerations are key to providing an appropriate hospice setting. We are delighted that the efforts of our team were recognised in last night’s decision by the planning committee. “We believe that, given the paucity of land available for such schemes, this will prove to be the last children’s hospice built in London.”

Noah’s Ark is one of Barnet Mayor, Cllr David Longstaff’s chosen charities. Cllr Longstaff also welcomed last night’s news saying, “The Barnet community has long held Noah’s Ark close to its heart – loyally supporting the charity’s vital work in supporting local children and families in their homes for many years. “Last night’s decision is a significant milestone – putting the charity one step closer to its long-held ambition of constructing a hospice building.”

Noah’s Ark currently supports around 150 children and their families at home and in the community. The new building will enable the charity to care for more than 450 children and their families. Technological and medical advances are enabling many children with degenerative and life threatening illnesses to live longer. A local, purpose-built hospice meeting the changing palliative needs of children and their families is long overdue.

The bright, eco-friendly hospice building includes six children’s bedrooms and three self-contained family rooms. For day visits, as well as those staying, the hospice will provide rooms for soft play, a teen den, a sensory room, wet play, games room, therapy room and music room. Facilities will include training areas for nurses and specialist carers, to help deliver badly needed support and care more widely. The building will also provide end of life care and bereavement suites.

Landscaping will act as a key feature, creating a pleasant and calming environment, providing play areas, and linking the mood inside the building to its astounding green belt and nature reserve surroundings. The building will sit in a 7.5-acre nature reserve. It will be an inspiring space for palliative care, relaxation and adventure in a home from home environment, allowing young people and their families to connect with others facing similar challenges, and to be given the time and space to be children, not just patients.
Providing a focal point for social interaction is also a priority – between volunteers, community outreach workers and family visitors, who will use the building as a hub.

The design incorporates a central hall flanked by two “protective” wings – leaving room to draw the landscape close to the building. Along the wings are sections each for therapy and play, children’s bedrooms, family rooms and administration – all with garden views. A lower ground level will include bereavement suites, a multi-faith room, staff facilities and storage.

At the heart of the building is a light-filled vaulted hall, connecting all four wings and providing a series of flexible social spaces under a timber-framed pitched roof. Each gable end is predominantly glazed to offer a welcoming entrance and draw the landscape into the building. Outside, the building is arranged around the oak framed hall, a contemporary ‘barn’ space with glazed panels and painted timber fins, and four brick-clad wings with timber panels that open and windows overlooking the gardens.

Noah’s Ark thanks its build team, which is made up of the following specialists, most of whom have been providing their expertise pro bono:
o Pears Property
o Squire and Partners
o Sellar Property Group
o Erith Demolition
o GQ Design
o Macfarlanes LLP
o Odd Man Out
o RPS Consulting Services Ltd
o Ramboll
o Rowland Bilsland Traffic Planning
o ACD Environmental
o Gensler
o Eco-Scope
o Hodkinson Consultancy


240 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NW
United Kingdom
Tel:+44 20 7631 5291

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