Colchester Hospital

A calming hospice-style building for terminally ill patients at Colchester Hospital

Improving comfort and quality of life

The Palliative Care Team at Colchester Hospital -now the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) -wished to create a special, hospice-style environment within hospital grounds to improve the comfort and quality of life for terminally ill patients.

Green Unit was commissioned due to its unique modular building design and sustainability factors.

A calming, private space

The Time Garden –as the project was named –is a uniquely calm space that gives patients a place away from the clinical hospital wards where they can spend time with family, friends, and even pets.

The ARC building accommodates a wheelchair or hospital bed and seating space for visitors. The building’s large windows connect patients with the landscaped gardens within a courtyard in the hospital.

“There was a sense of total uplifting, I felt really well afterwards”

Alan Fowler was one patient who benefitted from the Time Garden, with time spent there almost daily during his care at Colchester Hospital.

Like many other patients, Alan enjoyed the tranquillity of the space, as well as the opportunity to spend precious time with family and friends listening to music and enjoying a drink, and sharing memories.

Alan explained that having the space was an opportunity to chill out and for a chance for some respite.

Minimal disruption to the hospital

Choosing a modular building solution that was built offsite was important for the Estates Team at Colchester Hospital as they looked to minimise disruption to the day-to-day hospital operations. Green Unit delivered the building in two sections in a day.

I didn’t know what to expect, but when I went into the Time Garden for the first time I realised immediately how it lifts the spirit. What a wonderful change from the environment on the ward, there was a sense of total uplifting, I felt really well afterwards.

The experience of feeling restful and the atmosphere is something I have I loved, it makes me feel so relaxed.


Patient account
Time Garden at Colchester Hospital