With a focus on moving away from the usual bland and impersonal obstetrics clinic, we sought to provide an informal and familiar feeling space.
To re-conceptualise the space we started with the idea of working with strand board fins. These appear to float over the boxes that house the treatment and consultation rooms, redefining the internal space. The fins are hung from the underside of the roof above, supported on a ceiling batten system, changing the ceiling height and creating a cozy cave-like interior.
We chose strand board for the material of the fins as this has a multi-directional grain disguising sheet joins and providing a more consistent finish.
The individual rooms (consult rooms, surgery and staff room) were conceptualised as individual pods within the overall space defined by the fins, these also help form the storage area and create a warm overall aesthetic.
The client provided specific furnishing content for the consult rooms and surgery and required the waiting and reception area to have a bold and clean design feel. This space also needed to occasionally function as a lecture space for up to 50 people.
Ideas in his initial brief included relaxing, luxurious, soothing, private and stylish. The focus remains on the overall design aesthetic of warmth and informality rather than on the individual fittings.
The materials used are deliberately pared back, concrete flooring was exposed and ground, the strand board fins are clear sealed, lighting has been kept simple with exposed dolly bulbs hanging between the fins.
The reception counter was designed as a stand-alone object in the space and the storage area behind the counter has been created and defined by the fins as they meet the walls and floor, providing decoration as well as functionality.
The use of the strand board to create fins was an innovative approach, these were drawn on the computer and sent to a CNC router to be cut, then put together on site like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
The fins provided a clever solution in answer to the client’s quite definite ideas for this space, on entering the warmth of the effect of the lowered cave-like ceiling is evident and feels far removed from the expected entry to an obstetrician’s office.
NZ Wood Timber Design Awards 2010
Highly Commended – Interior Fit-out