When your health is at a low you have a reasonable expectation that the medical centre and consulting room you visit will be clean and clinical. While at the same time, you really want to feel cared for in a non-institutional environment. This, in turn, relieves the inevitable stress associated with a visit to the doctor or healthcare professional. Resolving these seemingly opposing requirements is one of the many challenges faced in building a medical facility.
Edmiston Jones has had the privilege of designing numerous consulting rooms and specialist medical centres over the years. We have worked with local GP’s converting residences in regional and suburban locations as well as a retrofitted squash court in a country town! More recently we have designed buildings specifically for a particular health discipline. These have included facilities for gynaecologists, a dermatologist, ophthalmologists, oncologists, orthopaedic specialists as well as the Nowra GP Superclinc (pictured).
With this experience, we have concluded that there are five key factors that reduce the institutional feel of a medical centre without compromising the quality of care or the efficiency and well being of the staff.
1. Large Windows
– allow natural daylight and, if appropriately placed, warming sunlight
– create an open and more calming environment
– windows are a building’s ‘eyes’ and give an insight into the soul of the building
(see our previous blog on the value of well designed windows)
2. Natural Forms and Materials
– curved forms provide a softened and non threatening appearance
– particularly timber to add visual warmth and a feeling of calm
3. Comfortable Seating
– offering a range of seating types allows for different users and medical conditions
– some flexibility means different groups to sit together with greater privacy
4. (Real) Plants and Landscaping
– air quality and acoustics are improved
– offer visual relief linking the interior to external landscaped spaces
5. Cater for all the senses
– provide the option to watch TV (or not!), listen to music and view artwork
– plants and flowers provide relief from the usual odour of cleaning products
– interesting textures in wall and floor finishes mitigate the clinical feel
Edmiston Jones vision is to create environments that inspire and enhance lives.