End Stages

What is the ideal setting for death? Some patients find hospitals cold and authoritarian; others regard “home-like” hospice centers as belittling or even absurd. Increasingly, we see hybrid forms that, out of necessity or inventiveness, deviate from those two distinct templates. Nitin Ahuja argues that in one’s final needful hours, the most comforting hearths are those that feel serendipitously constructed, their warmth actively reclaimed.

As hospice design becomes more formally ambitious — and standardized — we should remember there is no universal model for ‘dying well.’




  • Belmont Freeman
  • Despina Stratigakos

Shannon Mattern

Shannon Mattern is a columnist for Places. She is Associate Professor in the School of Media Studies at The New School in New York.

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David Heymann

David Heymann is a columnist for Places. He is an architect, and the Harwell Hamilton Harris Regents Professor in Architecture at the University of Texas, Austin.

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Belmont Freeman

Belmont Freeman is a columnist for Places. He is principal of Belmont Freeman Architects, an award-winning design firm in New York City.

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Despina Stratigakos

Despina Stratigakos, an associate professor at the University of Buffalo, is a columnist for Places and author of Where Are the Women Architects? and other books on architectural history.

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