Guests can feel the cheerful atmosphere that surrounds the Balthasar Hospice for Children and Young Adults in Olpe near Cologne even in the car park. The surfacing of colourful clay pavers lies like a brightly striped rug at the feet of the visitors, signalling: this is somewhere you can laugh and be happy.
A garden of discovery
This fundamental attitude is reflected in the outdoor spaces. Doris Herrmann engaged sensitively with the special concept of the hospice. She worked with warm and natural materials like wood and clay pavers and played with colours and shapes, bringing in a host of creative ideas. This resulted in a friendly garden with paths meandering through the grounds, past play equipment, patio areas, fountains, planted beds, benches and lovingly designed havens for retreat. Everything invites guests and visitors to explore – or to relax and draw new strength in a close-to-nature atmosphere.
Even the car park is out of the ordinary. The colourful clay paver surfacing is reminiscent of a brightly coloured rug to brighten the visitors’ spirits. “I wanted to make it easier for the children when they arrive. They should instantly sense: I feel good here,” says the designer, explaining her thoughts behind the design. She values the warm aura of clay pavers, the ability of the natural material made of fired clay to store and give off warmth.