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News archive - July 2015

New lease of life for flood-hit unit

New lease of life for flood-hit unit

Nearly 18 months after being damaged in flash floods, Sunshine House, a short break and palliative care unit for children and young people, has re-opened.

The facility in Hull has undergone a major revamp, including an interior design makeover featuring a new arts programme.

The building is owned and operated by Humber NHS Foundation Trust, with services being run by City Health Care Partnership CIC, and the project was delivered by Citycare Developments. The interior design and artwork overhaul was undertaken by Gelder and Kitchen Architects based in Hull.

The work followed a tidal surge in December 2013, which severely damaged the building and led to services being relocated.

Up to standard

Using the opportunity to bring the building up to modern standards, the team came up with a plan to provide a more home-from-home environment for the children and their families.

Speaking to hdm, Sarah Chadwick, the interior designer and artist who oversaw the project for Gelder and Kitchen, said: “What a building feels and looks like on the inside is vitally important, I think.

“We live inside a building not in the elevation, as long as the M&E works and the structure is sound it really is the finishes that people see. Often it is the inside of a building that helps to define how you feel, so enhancing these spaces can have a huge effect on our health and wellbeing.”

The building has 10 bedrooms and a state-of-the-art sensory room as well as a number of shared and circulation spaces.

The approach to the interiors was to use a muted colour palette, particularly in the bedrooms, then introduce brighter colours and intricate artworks into the activity areas.

“My brief was to make it as homely as possible, using a calming colour palette,” said Chadwick.

“We’ve therefore used colours like lavender, duck egg blue, sage, and mocha and each bedroom has its own individual wall motif to help orientate and give identity to each child’s bedroom.”

The artwork is a major part of the project and unites the interior design scheme, resulting in a co-ordinated and coherent approach.

Easily adapted

In particular, one of the activity areas features a stage curtain mural. The height of the illustrated stage was raised, enabling children in wheelchairs to be at the right height when performing. The audience has also been painted onto the perpendicular wall and children and parents can add their own faces to the figures to become part of the audience.

Another element taken into consideration was the dining room. Although many of the children do not take part in mealtimes, it was still important to have this facility. Chadwick designed a picnic mural so that the dining space would feel more informal and relaxed.

“This building takes children from babies right up to 18 years, so we needed to choose a design scheme that was not age specific and could be easily adapted,” she Chadwick.

“Everyone is absolutely thrilled with the new look and we’ve had great feedback since it re-opened.”

Jayne Booth, clinical manager of Sunshine House, added: “I am absolutely thrilled and excited to see the centre reopen.

“The flooding was catastrophic. This is a specialised unit which needed to properly dry out and required complete decontamination.

“With it being closed, people realise more than ever how important Sunshine House is.

“Now it is even better and more modern and we have had really positive feedback.”

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