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Refurbishment and Expansion of Hospice for Children and Young People

Having secured planning approval from Leeds City Council in December 2019, Martin House Children’s Hospice at Boston Spa is now ready for its ambitious refurbishment and expansion project.

Opened in 1987, Martin House was only the second such hospice for children and young people with life-limiting conditions, while its Whitby Lodge unit for teenagers and young people was the UK’s first when opened in 2002. The need to improve and update the Hospice to accommodate children’s more complex needs, including en-suite facilities to rooms to increase privacy and dignity, led the Hospice Board to interview various architects before awarding the project to JDDK.

The existing building is no longer adequate for the Hospice’s intended purpose as the requirements of specialist care environments have increased and the number of possible care treatments and facilities available has grown over the last 30 years.

The scheme proposes a new Well-Being Centre with specialist treatment facilities, including a Hydrotherapy pool, counselling and therapy rooms, improved patient bedrooms for children and young adults. New educational facilities and improved staff accommodation to include new space for fundraising staff to operate and various meeting and office spaces. The hospice had a good idea of what they wanted and were also passionate about preserving elements of the original structure and how the new building could intervene with the existing structure. Our job was to prioritise these wishes, to future proof the facility as far as possible whilst providing extra capacity and the privacy and dignity that en-suite bathrooms would create for the children, all within a Conservation and designated Green Belt area.

The design also allows construction to be phased in line with fund-raising activities and ensures the Hospice can carry on operating during construction. The building materials palette has been carefully chosen to match the existing structure whilst externally, new entrances and parking facilities take the existing Tree Preservation Orders into account with increased new planting mitigating the unavoidable loss of the limited number of trees which will be lost.