Student: Xiangdi Cai
Advisor: Martin Bressani
Studio: Design Studio Option (DST)
Year/Term: Fall 2016
Death remains an unmentionable topic in China, where most people either die in hospitals in unpleasant surroundings, or at home with limited pain-control support. This project for an hospice proposes another option. Hospice architecture is a place where death can be regarded as a tolerable if not beautiful event, providing a living environment for people who are suffering from terminal illness and have six months or less of their life remaining. It is where they can leave this world in a dignified and peaceful way, with their families and friends close by. The site is located in the city centre of Yinchuan, a small but lovely city in the middle of China, surrounded by the high ranges of the Helan Mountains. To bring the concept of hospice into the city, the project occupies one whole city block, integrating public facilities such as a park and teahouse. Using “mat building” as a design strategy, the project includes the hospice module with patient rooms, and the facility module with an open kitchen and therapy rooms. Other public facilities are embedded into the grid of the building system. Together, the architecture blends into the site and allows for future expansion.