The Architecture of Compassion: Hospice Maui’s New Hale

One of the reasons that residential Architecture is so intriguing to me is that it is an art form that dedicates itself to our comfort and protection. Good residential architecture provides basic shelter, and all the prerequisites of space that the human animal wants, and does it with an extra dose of style, art, or fun. Whenever purpose and smart design is clearly imbued into an architectural form, I get very excited.


Kindness in the Walls

Imagine my surprise when I first entered Hospice Maui’s shiny new Hale and literally felt kindness and care in every facet of its design. Of course I understood intellectually that the purpose of a hospice facility is to give people comfort during their final days on the planet, but there was something that I felt instantly here, in each bend of the hall, and each welcoming door threshold. There was literally kindness and compassion built into the walls, in the windows, in the halls.


I’m not being all woo woo and talking about energy or vibe (although the energy certainly felt peaceful and serene in there and I can bust out my woo woo side if it’s required). I’m talking about many details that were built into the design of the space that really come from an understanding of what we need during our final days.


Views From Every Room

Each bedroom has a sliding door to the garden area outside, with a beautiful view of the mountain and the ocean. Fresh air abounds if it’s what you desire, and if the wide open view is too much, a small window onto a private garden wall can reveal and invite a quieter, more intimate piece of nature.


The Design Story

The design of this building was borne out of the minds and hearts of three individuals, each with their own expertise and familiarity with the workings of hospice care. Hospice’s CEO Greg LaGoy was the lead on the building design, Kim Harter was the lead on the architectural detail design, and Victoria Joyce LaGoy was the lead on the choice of interior and exterior colors, furnishings, finishes, cabinets, and art. Each person also consulted extensively in the areas where they were not lead, and each lead involved others in the decision-making process of their area.


Gentle Forms, Gentle Colors, Gentle Scale

Wandering around the building, we are treated to joyful art by Makawao’s own Sherri Reeve, gentle surfaces, ample halls, and door openings, soft natural light, calming color, Wailuku breezes.


Bathrooms with Outdoor Private Courtyards

The bathrooms, with large open showers, each have a sliding door to a mini private courtyard where a patient can enjoy some breeze or warm sun after or before an invigorating shower. It’s a pampering detail that offers so much via its intent – an acknowledgment of the sweetness of our climate here – and an offering for the patients to be truly outdoors in complete privacy.



Final Curtain Call

As westerners, we have too long shied away from the inevitability of our deaths, and as we mature, we see that birth and death are important milestones in the unfolding of the human story on planet earth. Both should be celebrated. Bravo to Hospice Maui for creating this lovely home away from home.

Liam Ball, Realtor Broker



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