2019 Commission

The Award chose Julia’s House Children’s Hospice as the recipient of the 2019 commission.

Julia’s House wanted a new Jurassic Coast-themed pergola for the Mermaid Garden at their site in Corfe Mullen. They wanted the pergola to become an iconic part of the garden, and a place in which happy memories could be made during the child’s life, and which could be enjoyed by the children, parents, staff and volunteers using the garden throughout the year.


• NIKHIL CHERIAN (architect)
• PAULA DOHERTY (ceramicist/interactive artist)
• A collaboration between SARAH EMILY PORTER (artist/designer) AND JAMES TRUNDLE (furniture maker/sculptor)




Visit Sarah and James’ website

Sarah and James worked with the staff and volunteers at Julia’s House throughout the commissioning process, and spent a delightful day there with the children, who chose the colours for the pergola. Yellow had to be included so that the visually impaired could also enjoy it.

The sapele timber used throughout was kindly donated by a long-term supporter of Julia’s House, to whom everybody involved is extremely grateful. The timber was painted and fabricated off-site to minimise disruption to the daily running of the hospice.

The pergola was installed during the summer of 2019, but the official handover event had to be delayed until October because a very poorly little boy needed to use the Mermaid Suite at short notice.

Saffy, one of the children using Julia’s House, assisted by her mother, Lauren, cut the ribbon to officially hand over the pergola. Saffy carried out this task with great panache, and was the star of the afternoon.

After a tour of the house and garden by Martin Edwards, the Chief Executive of Julia’s House, everybody enjoyed afternoon tea in the gardens.

Key people involved with this commission photographed by the completed pergola are Sarah Emily Porter, artist, (left), Louise McKenna, Lead Nurse at Julia’s House, (second from left), Andy Munn, Facilities Manager at Julia’s House, (third from left), James Trundle, maker, (second from right) and Dan Goode, Business Skills Mentoring Judge (right).

Julia’s House shared the following article via social media on 28th October 2019:

Read Sarah and James’s interview discussing how they approached this commission and the impact it has had on their work via [this link].