The Flowers Hospital was chartered in 1863 as the New York Medical College and Hospital for Women. Growth and consolidation over the years culminated in the creation of the Flowers Hospital in 1938. In 1983, Terrence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center created ArchCare, and began specializing in chronic conditions and end-care in the 130-bed facility. The location on Fifth Avenue across from the Conservatory Gardens at the northern end of Central Park make it ideal for a hospice facility.
Inspired by the gradual movement from dark to light, I created several conceptual models to visually describe the threshold process. I began investigating how to describe a balance point on this continuum, in space. How can we create a resting place, a sanctuary, for the families of the dying? Patients in hospice care have their palliative care needs met in specific and focused ways. What about the family members who still need to go to work, to pay bills, to ride the subway? A space to cry, to breathe, and to compose themselves before they face the final moments with their loved ones in hospice?
What does comfort feel like? Comfort is personal, it's close, it's color, it's quiet, it's as varied as the sunrise.
How does color affect mood? Studies prove that color can influence us on many levels. What color lets you express yourself? What color calms you? How does natural light affect mood?
Within the constraints of an existing structure I created four stories of luxury and comfort. Private suites for patients and families, a penthouse suite with kitchenette, private studiolos (small, quiet, light-filled rooms) for families to write, to pay bills, to rest, and to breathe. Private staff rooms for breaks, meals, and storage. Large outdoor spaces for seasonal enjoyment and fresh air. A large non-denominational celebration space greets everyone entering the facility.
Natural and color-corrected light fills the main entrance to the hospice. Natural materials envelope the space. The silver leaf ceiling reflects hopes and dreams. The end-grain walnut flooring softens footfalls. Fritted LED glass panels shift color digitally, allowing the space to evoke a variety of emotions, and providing privacy as needed.
Natural light, warm surroundings, comfortable surfaces, flexibility make this space alive. Carpeting softens noise. Portable furnishings allow for multiple uses and adaptability.
Hallways are lit indirectly for patient comfort. Glass-paneled studiolos at right allow family members quiet, private space for reflection.
Large light-filled dining area with views of Central Park and a reflecting pond, converts to a recreation room for movies and games. Access to the rooftop gardens, fountain, and sitting areas.
Large light-filled space with balconies and views of Central Park. Warm wood, soft surfaces, reflective ceilings. David Weeks lighting.