- Article by ThomsonAdsett
International architecture and design firm ThomsonAdsett has designed Hummingbird House – a new state-of-the-art children’s hospice, which is the only one of its kind in Queensland and the third in Australia.
It provides short break stays, family wellbeing services, creative therapies, and care at the end of life for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.
The design seeks to create a warm embrace for both children and their families. Bright colours combine with timber and clean, white walls for a homey yet playful and sensory environment – making both parents and children feel at ease. A varied colour palette also helps to avoid the typical sterile, boring and drab look of regular healthcare facilities.
It provides flexibility which allows guests time and space to choose how they engage with each other and the facility. It also seeks to offer opportunities for families to enjoy precious moments – whether a refreshing swim, a walk amongst the trees, or an outdoor movie.
Hummingbird House is a place where kids can be kids, families can reconnect, and precious memories can be created, says ThomsponAdsett.
A large outdoor area with lush greenery including open grass and trees, play equipment and a wooden fort provides the children with space to run and play.
The project was undertaken in collaboration with Surroundings Architects and involved an extensive human-centred engagement and briefing process, including workshops with families, clinicians and other children’s hospice providers in Australia and the UK.
Parents and carers of children within the hospice directly influenced the design through the sharing of their stories and information with the architects, and the ThompsonAdsett/Surroundings Architects team say they were touched by the group’s willingness to share and be involved.
Hummingbird House provides a variety of accommodation options, with eight guests-in-care bedrooms and three two-bedroom adaptable apartments for the estimated 3,700 Queensland children and their families affected by life-limiting conditions.
All photography by Alicia Taylor.