Westmount Square Surgical Center
By : Espace 313
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 16th edition
Discipline : Interior Design
Categories : Education, Institution & Healthcare / Professional Office & Clinic : Gold Certification
Categories : Commercial Space / Commercial Space > 5,400 sq.ft. (> 500 sq.m.) : Silver Certification
Categories : Special Awards / Interior Design + Materials : Silver Certification
Commissioned to create the new premises of an 8,000 square foot private surgical clinic located in downtown Montreal, the designers approached the mandate with one overriding question: how to get away from the sterile and cold atmosphere so often associated with hospital environments?
Placing the human factor at the heart of their creative process, the firm’s design proposal puts forward functional and aesthetic choices that aim to positively influence the behavior of patients and staff. The layout of the space was initially designed to take advantage of the abundant natural light present in the space. Thus, most of the rooms are not dependent on artificial lighting to be illuminated during the day and many glass partitions were installed in order to diffuse the natural light to the heart of the building. In areas where this was not possible, the spaces are lit with a soft warm light, a deliberate choice against the cold, sterile lighting often found in hospital environments.
Using environmental psychology concepts to determine the characteristics of each element of the space, the designers wanted to create a unique experience that would allow visitors and patients to better manage the stress associated with a surgical procedure. The designers used the principle of connection to nature to develop the rest of the concept.
There was a strong desire to push the ideas beyond what we have seen in healthcare design in recent years. The goal was to make patients feel immediately comfortable. This goal was achieved through the use of a soft, earthy color palette, curved volumes and natural materials that echo a residential aesthetic. The use of vegetation also played an important role as it creates a connection with the outdoors and nature, well known for inducing a sense of relaxation in users.
The spaces in the administrative area, including the reception, consultation rooms and offices, are directly inspired by the aesthetics and softness of the human body, with its curves, colors, textures, but also its imperfections. The use of faux plaster wall finishes, worked by a local craftsman, brings a soft, fragile and imperfect side to the terracotta brick walls that contrast in color, porosity and hardness of the material. The use of organic furniture lines and the omnipresence of sober, natural-looking textiles also contrast with other cooler elements, such as the champagne-colored metal reception desk.
Transposing the aesthetics of the administrative section in a uniform manner into the consultation rooms and the pre- and post-operative areas was one of the main challenges of the project. These spaces require specialized materials and equipment that rarely match the refined aesthetic sought here. Extensive research was conducted by the designer team in an attempt to reduce the variance in atmosphere between these areas in order to achieve a uniform and consistent atmosphere throughout the space. This is achieved through the use of high-performance materials, but with a residential look: wood-effect coverings, imitation linen fabrics, artificial vegetation and more.
The attention to detail extends to the sanitary facilities, where no aesthetic aspect has been overlooked. Materials and lighting have been carefully selected to provide comfort and well-being to patients during every moment of their stay at the clinic.
With this conceptual proposal, the designers wanted to bring a new look to hospital design and offer a singular vision of the medical clinic of tomorrow, where aesthetics and warmth coexist with health and hospital environment.