Community Contribution Award for Hummingbird House Project

The team at Saunders Havill Group have recently been announced as the Queensland winner of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, 2020 Community Contribution for Landscape Architecture Award.

The winning submission was awarded for the landscape planning, design and construction of a vibrant and detailed outdoor space to complement the grounds surrounding Hummingbird House – Queensland’s only children’s hospice and one of only three facilities in Australia.

A "Tree House Platform" providing ramped access for patients on hospital beds including manoeuvring room for carers

Delivery of the project had been planned and anticipated by co-founders Paul and Gabrielle Quilliam, who, after fostering a child affected by a life-limiting condition, made it their mission to build a house that could support other families seeking integrated support services. The vision was conceived for several years prior to SHG’s involvement, however in 2014, SHG began providing consultancy services during the planning, design and construction phases of the project. These works included detailed design; engagement with stakeholder groups; coordination of other contributors; cost control; and input during construction.

"The Big Back Yard" with multiple outdoor rooms for activites, magic and surprise

The landscape brief evolved in response to the intended program for the building (as a children’s hospice) and to enable future expansion and flexibility, with consideration to the following elements:

  • The design needed to be a landscape far removed from a hospital setting;
  • The landscape should elicit the feeling of a welcoming place with a relaxed, holiday home feel – “warm embrace”;
  • The creation of  “The Big Back Yard” concept that would include multiple spaces – outdoor rooms, children’s activities, and a sense of magic and surprise; and
  • Inclusive play opportunities that incorporate wheelchair transitions without barriers.

SHG feel privileged to have not only won this AILA award, but to have been involved in such a meaningful project.

It is a privilege for the SHG landscape team to be awarded for our part in bringing the vision for Hummingbird House’s “Big Backyard” to fruition.  We are humbled to know that these important landscape spaces are bringing joy to visitors on a daily basis.

SHG Senior Landscape Architect Glen Challenor

Hummingbird House is a joint initiative of Hummingbird House Foundation and Wesley Mission Queensland, who provide short-break stays and family support services for families with children suffering from life-limiting conditions and their families. To learn more visit