Established in 1987, Thames Hospice is a charity of local and regional importance. The hospice’s charitable work impacts many lives within its community by offering care and support to those affected by life-limiting illnesses. The organisation is also a key provider of palliative care.
The services offered by the hospice have increased significantly since opening, and the facilities have been extended to provide a 28-bedroom hospice with a community hub. The addition includes education space, as the hospice is aiming to become a centre of excellence in palliative care.
Price & Myers was appointed to design the structural and civil engineering from pre-planning through to construction.
The hospice has been designed as a series of wings which house different functions. The main buildings, featuring the teaching and care facilities, were constructed as an exposed concrete frame to provide the mass and acoustic separation needed to ensure privacy.
The main teaching blocks are linked by a circular rotunda that serves to welcome visitors, patients and staff.
Upon entering the rotunda , visitors are greeted by uninterrupted views across Bray Lake, provided by the first floor structure suspended from the exposed concrete beams and set out in a radial grid.
The building has three steel-framed vaulted bedroom wings to the rear, overlooking the lake. The geometry has been designed to allow for maximum daylight penetration, and are tied together with a series of link bridges to maximise the privacy for patients.
Our scope of works included work on extensive landscaping features such as footbridges, reflection pools and retaining walls across the site.
The Hospice is adjacent to Bray Lake, and The Cut River is located to the north of the site. The building is located within Flood Zones 2 and 3 and so a Flood Risk Assessment was prepared to accompany the planning application. A 2D river modelling exercise was carried out to determine the flood levels for the 100-year plus 35% climate change allowance, and the 100 year plus 70% climate change allowance storm events, in line with the Environment Agency’s guidance. The finished floor level has been raised above the 100 year plus 70% climate change allowance storm event and a flood compensation area was designed to ensure that any floodwater was not displaced into critical areas of the site.
The design required the diversion of an existing watercourse that flows from south to north across the site and discharged to Bray Lake. The diverted watercourse imitates the existing conditions to ensure the risk of flooding is not increased on the site or elsewhere. Approximately 40 metres of the watercourse diversion passes beneath the access road and car park, so the design also includes a 2.4m x 1m concrete box culvert.
The surface water discharges to two proposed swales that convey flows to Bray Lake at greenfield run-off rates. The surface water drainage system includes two attenuation tanks located beneath the car parking areas which have been designed with permeable surfacing.