Xenia House Leiden
Nurse Jacqueline Bouts discovered a blind spot in palliative care provision from her own practical experience. She adapted her house to meet the needs of young people who require intensive care due to oncological, haematological or neurological illnesses, muscle diseases or respiratory problems. The Xenia House is able to accommodate six guests, who can stay for short or long periods. It means the carer can be relieved temporarily, or the young person in need of care can take a breather in a different environment. The average age of both the guests and staff is much lower than in traditional palliative care centres. Due to the location of Xenia House in the old city centre of Leiden, a student city, a large number of the volunteers are students and peers. The architecture of the new building has also been adapted to appeal to the age group. What’s more, the Xenia House is located near urban facilities and programmes that meet the needs of young people.
The Xenia Foundation aims to shift care from the large, specialist institutions outside the city to a small-scale, homely setting in the city. Xenia House also creates added value for the urban environment. As part of the residential project, the area around the house was designed as a public space.
The Xenia House project won the Golden Pyramid Prize in 2016 for innovative commissioning in spatial projects. Jacqueline Bouts, together with her partner architect Piet van Veen, formed an initiative group. She did this in association with Els van Berkel, then coordinator of the regional Palliative Care Network, and architect Erik van Tussenbroek. The group entered into a partnership with the Leiden Student Housing Foundation (later merged with the student housing company DUWO). The building was constructed as a base build by DUWO, which is now the owner and rents it to Xenia. The furnishings and operations are financed by the Xenia Foundation. It relies heavily on the Friends of Xenia, a foundation that recruits donors and sponsors.
The Xenia Foundation is currently working on setting up a second home in Zwolle. Its aim is for Xenia to meet the care needs of the north-eastern Netherlands, once again in an urban setting.
Jacqueline Bouts, Piet Van Veen, Erik van Tussenbroek, Els van Berkel, Stichting Leiden Student Housing Association, DUWO
financing, cultural change
building, district, region
Golden Pyramid 2016 Stichting Xenia hospice (foundation) for young people in Leiden
Based on her experience as a paediatric nurse, Jacqueline Bouts decided to tackle the blind spots of healthcare herself by setting up the Xenia Foundation. The foundation works together with, among others, student housing provider DUWO and the 'Friends of Xenia', who donate financial resources to furnish and run Xenia House.
photo: Gouden Piramide, 2016
Xenia take a look in 2020
The aim of Xenia House is to offer a home in a lively, urban context to young people from the region who need intensive care.
photo: Xenia Huis Leiden, 2020
download / view PDF:
Stichting Xenia hospice (foundation) for young people
download / view PDF:
When life is more rewarding than death