This “home away from home” was created to combine the comforts of home with professional medical care for the terminally ill. Thus, the first hospice house in New York State was envisioned for Visiting Nurse Services of Suffolk.

Hospice care typically is provided by nurses who visit a patient at home or in an institutional setting. This facility was created for patients who were too sick to be cared for at home but did not want to be in an institutional setting. The residential architecture incorporates clapboard siding, traditional exterior wood trim, double-hung windows, multiple bays, and roof variations. The interior is flooded with natural light through three large skylights. Natural maple- and cherry-wood crown and base moldings complement the soft tones of the interior. The color palette is rich and soft to create a comforting atmosphere.

The building includes eight patient rooms, a kitchen, a family room that opens into a garden, and a meditation room for more private gatherings. Staff office functions are on the lower level. The design includes accommodations for overnight guests and additional family members. The goal of the hospice house is to enhance the quality of life.

Project category: New construction (completed June 2003)

Chief administrator: Ralph Lambert, President, Board of Directors, (631) 243-5970

Firm: The McGuire Group Architects, (516) 746-8181

Design team: Wendy Ling, Project Manger; John McGuire, Senior Designer (The McGuire Group Architects); Dana Harris, Mechanical/Electrical Engineer (Lizardos Engineering Associates, PC); Rich Christie, Strucural Engineer (Christie Engineering); Mari Scala, Interior Designer; Diana Ferrara, Interior Designer (MD Design Group)

Photography: James P. Donnelly

Total building area (sq. ft.): 12,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $208

Total construction cost (excluding land): $2,500,000