What makes Noah’s Ark bloomin’ marvellous?
The new Noah’s Ark hospice building is located on a 7.5 acre nature reserve but we’ve got plans to make the surroundings even more spectacular. With four garden areas, a play zone, a deck terrace and an ‘Infinity Ribbon’, this really will be a place for the families we support to create precious moments.
The Ark’s surroundings have been designed with meticulous attention to detail by our build partner and leading design firm, Gensler, and reflects our aim to allow the families we support to be children and parents and not patients and carers. Take a look at just a few of the plans we have in store…
The Infinity Ribbon
The Infinity Ribbon will surround The Ark and represents the concept of continuity and connectivity. It will be a fully-accessible path that flows through and connects all the different zones surrounding the hospice.
On the western side of The Ark, the Sensory Garden will be a place where vegetation and changes in level will play an important role in stimulating the senses. This area will have a timber path with raised planters while a boardwalk leads into the existing woodland area. The Sensory Garden will feature an array of shrubs, herbs and flowers that will speak the senses. Plants include aromatic chives, lavender, spearmint and rosemary as well as the brightly-coloured chocolate cosmos, sunflowers and Swiss chard amongst many others.
Michael’s daughter Eli is supported by Noah’s Ark and he understands the importance of having access to a garden. “Gardens are vital for children who have physical or sensory difficulties. We walk past a garden and we don’t even think about it, but for Eli, it is crucial as it provokes a response from her,” he said. “It’s one way of stimulating her to the natural environment, it is an important experience that will help brain development, attentiveness or engagement. It’s like a huge playground for Eli’s brain and senses. The gardens are going to be a big plus for The Ark.”
Next to the Sensory Garden will be the Play Zone which hosts a more active and energetic area where children and siblings can interact in a safe and secure environment. There is also a grassy Green Play area that will provide opportunities for picnics and family games away from the Play Zone. This section will blend in with the meadow landscape and will be a flexible space for children, parents and staff to interact.
At a lower level than the rest of the outdoor spaces, and enclosed by the northern wing of the hospice building, the Contemplation Garden will be a tranquil and quiet area. The aim for this garden is to create a secluded space with seating areas for dedicated use from the Bereavement Suites.
Adjacent to the Staff Terrace will be the Horticultural Garden with raised accessible planter beds and other equipment to provide outdoor therapeutic treatments for our children. In this area, a row of perennial trees will provide some shade and natural cooling to the southern area of The Ark.
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