9 Aug, 2016 | Written by Premis

Paediatric Waiting Rooms

Medical waiting rooms that are designed entirely with children in mind are rare so before designers at Boex took on the job of the new paediatric waiting room for the Chelsea Westminster Hospital in London, they asked to shadow the hospital staff for 24 hours.

What they found were:

  • metal chairs in long rows that didn’t allow parents to easily hold small children
  • aisles cluttered with prams
  • no distance between sick and well children
  • and not enough to entertain young patients while they waited.

The final design included breaking up the space into three distinct zones for infectious and non-infectious patients and babies, more flexible seating areas and a brighter colour palatte.

“We used the idea of creating forms and contours to evoke a natural landscape of coves and dells, using tactile timber for the majority of the seating,” Boex says.

Seating bays and colorful visual cues, including floor and wall graphics and LED wall washes, help identify each of the zones, which are also separated by clear screens to maintain staff sightlines within the long, narrow space.

Custom-designed wood furniture is fixed to walls or bases and is coated with an antimicrobial lacquer, while some lightweight seating and play pieces are made of 100 percent sealed firm foam that can be made into any shape or colour.

The firm also worked closely with the hospital’s charity, CW+, which raised funds to commission custom audio, visual, and digital installations for the waiting room.

 Tags: hospitalpaediatric waiting rooms

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