This fascinating project was to create a calm and relaxing garden space adjoining a new palliative care suite at Bishops Castle Community Hospital. End of life care has been highlighted as an area needing great improvement in a modern NHS. The challenge is to give terminally ill patients and their families the privacy and care they need in a setting that is as relaxed as possible.
One of the special features of the suite is an especially wide door to allow the patients bed to be wheeled into the garden area. Many local people who are patients here will have worked their lives in the countryside and will be able to spend some of their last days in the fresh air, away from the hospital environment. The spiral bench I designed faces directly south to catch the sunshine and is able to easily accommodate the bed in its centre with loads of seating around. To help create a relaxing space the high back screens the hospital building from view. Once the garden area is planted all that will be visible will be trees, flowers and shrubs.
The ancient and natural form of a spiral was chosen for the bench. I feel that this shape is an encompassing and holding form, giving those who sit within it a feeling of security and calm. Cedar was selected for its durability and beauty as well as its aromatic qualities. It was cut and kiln dried just outside Bishops Castle by Antony Jones of Shropshire Hardwoods. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Most of the timber I use is locally grown and processed and most of the furniture I make is delivered to customers in the area. This makes my business about as environmentally sensitive as it is possible to be. The garden area was officially opened by Sandra Bradbury the Sister in Charge of the hospital and representatives of the Kings Fund.
This method of construction can be used to create many different curved forms of seating. Alternative timbers could include oak, sweet chestnut or larch, all of which are locally available and noted for their durability