The pillars of a thoughtful design
The image of a healthcare facility plays an ever more prominent role when choosing a particular treatment centre. In light of this, designers seek innovative ways in which to organize treatment centres and create a pleasant environment where patients can feel safe and which will benefit the healing process. CannonDesign, one of the world's largest design companies specializing in healthcare facilities, tried its hand at this challenge for the UW Cancer Center at ProHealth Care in Wisconsin, USA. They designed a warm, open, and inviting interior that helps patients to relax and offers them comfort during a stressful period.
Architect Heather Clinger, the interior designer for the project, explains the importance of a thoughtful design for a healthcare facility. 'Patients would prefer not to be here, but they visit countless times during the treatment process. They were our starting point,' says Clinger. ‘We wanted them to be involved and called on their help when shaping the design. ProHealth had a very strong patient group that paid special attention to ProHealth Care's infusion centre, which they wanted to be more open and more social, with areas to stop and rest. The group also wanted there to be something new to discover at each visit, because they spent so much time there. Alongside patients, we consulted an existing design team made up of employees from ProHealth Care.'
Once the wishes of the patients and employees were clear, CannonDesign went in search of suitable design solutions and materials. The design was based on five pillars, ranging from warmth and dynamics to wheelchair friendliness and sustainability.
Warmth and proximityClinger explains, 'The patients really appreciate the open meeting spaces.' A fireplace was installed with feature Mosa tiles in the communal areas and the separate rooms where they could stop and rest. Given the bitterly cold Wisconsin winters, this extra touch of warmth was more than just a simple luxury.'
Dynamic interplay of lightAs patients will often visit the facility dozens of times, the designers integrated materials that vary according to the time of day and angle of view. The Terra Tones series by Mosa with various shades and depths help create this dynamic. The colour combinations of these floor tiles emphasize the ever changing light intensity and therefore support the dimensionality of the design. The colour palette of the interior is also in keeping with the natural landscape around the treatment centre. Clinger says, 'We have created an attractive, organic feel.' Mosa tiles helped make this possible: each tile has a natural pattern, meaning no two are alike.
Wheelchair-friendly and anti-slip tiles
‘With the Wisconsin winters in mind, we were looking for anti-slip flooring that could withstand road salt. The floor also had to be suitable for wheelchair users. Mosa’s precise top layer and rectified dimensions enabled us to create a smooth tile surface with minimal grouts. This and the exceptional anti-slip properties of Mosa tiles improved safety.’
‘Cannon starts from a sustainable story. This means we always enter into a dialogue with the client on this topic. Mosa is the first Cradle to Cradle-certified ceramic tile manufacturer. Of course that influenced our choice,' says the designer, whose partners during the project included companies that are committed to providing sustainability. Clinger says, ‘We really enjoy working with companies like Mosa that have a support system and are committed to their customers. It is an ongoing relationship, not just a one-off job.’
|Project:||ProHealth Care UW Cancer Center|
|Location:||Wisconsin (United States)|
|Mosa series:||Terra Tones|
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