Generative Space Award

The CARITAS Project presented the second annual Generative Space Award to the Willson Hospice House

This recognition is well-deserved—the hospice’s design has a special psychological effect on the people who spend time there.

The website for the award states that a generative space “improves the health and well-being of all; It improves the performance and effectiveness of the provider organization; Produces systemic and sustainable improvements over time; Improvements are measurable and demonstrate documented evidence substantiating these improvements; Fosters a breadth of improvement ranging from the unique experience of individuals to the establishment of communities that foster health, vitality, and well being.”

Wilson Hospice House’s patient rooms and common areas are flooded with natural light, which helps to keep circadian rhythms in check and also boosts mood. The large windows that supply all that daylight link people inside the building to the wooded grounds. The nature scenes are welcoming and draw people (at least mentally) into the outdoor spaces, relieving stress among patients, caregivers, and staff, and helping people restock their mental energy. Patients, even if they are bed-bound, can move outside through the French doors in each room that lead onto outdoor patios. Homelike materials are used throughout so visitors find the hospice more welcoming.

The layout of spaces, particularly the common ones, and the materials used nonverbally say “you’re home.”

Each patient room features a window seat that doubles as a visitor bed, and window seats are one of the stars of biophilic design. Biophilic design recognizes supportive natural “design practices” and places where it is applied are comfortable. People sitting in window seats have a view from a slightly darker space with a lower ceiling out over a more brightly lit space with a higher ceiling (or no ceiling at all).

Learn more about generative spaces and the Wilson Hospice House.