Robin House Children's Hospice

Gareth Hoskins Architects, Alexandria, 2005


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Robin House Children's Hospice 

Tim Soar (website)     Download Original

  • Robin House Children    
  • The building is sunken into the south-facing slope    
  • The limited external palette helps pull together the different facades    
  • The architect stressed that the building should exude a sense of quirkiness and playfulness    
  • The roof is a defining feature of the building, flicking up at the end and undulating throughout    
  • The external paved courtyard is overlooked by offices and a service block to the south    
  • The undulating roof structure consists of four separate curved roof plates    
  • A glazed eyelet allow natural light into the building    
  • The communal dining area where staff, patients and visitors eat together    
  • The second court has been glazed over. The conical elements house play and sensory spaces    
  • Play areas are cut off from the outside    
  • The children    
  • The hydrotherapy pool in the southern wing extends into the landscape    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Site plan    
  • Upper floor plan    
  • Roof plan    
  • Long section of the glazed courtyard    
  • Perspective detail of the undulating roof    
  • Detailed isometric and section through roof    

Accommodation for terminally ill children and their families

The hospice caters for eight children at any one time, staying with their parents and siblings for three to 10 days. Children and their parents are given their own respective suites.

The building is positioned to maximise the views over the south-facing terraced gardens but the building remains discreet by digging into the south-facing slope.

A hierarchy of spaces is organised into wings and two courtyards. The first courtyard is an external paved court, overlooked by a wing of offices and by the service wing to the south. The other is a glazed-over space that incorporates specialized play and therapy areas.

The two children’s bedroom wings are oriented south to maximise daylight and views, with each culminating in fully glazed spaces housing the library and hydrotherapy pool.

The 'ribbon roof', which encloses and defines the foyer and day spaces, is a response to the plan geometry and the desire to maximise daylight, and also to create an identity for the building. The roof structure consists of four separate curved roof plates which are tapered on plan and are slipped in direction, to form glazed eyelets between plates to allow natural light into the building. Externally the building is clad in cedar boarding and a light mauve render.


  • Begun: Apr 2003
  • Completed: Jun 2005
  • Floor area: 2,691m2
  • Sector: Healthcare
  • Total cost: £8M
  • Tender date: Jan 2003
  • Procurement: JCT 80 (Jan 2002) - two stage
  • Address: 2 Boturich Road, Balloch, Alexandria, G83 8JU, United Kingdom

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