Hospital atrium livens up with the farmland touch

Hospital atrium livens up with the farmland touch

More often than not atriums are imposing rather than welcoming, but Waikato Hospital's Acute Services Building's redesign has netted high praise.

Bursting with colour, it was a joint venture between Chow:Hill, Jasmax Limited and McConnel Smith & Johnson that marked part of a wider Waikato Hospital campus redevelopment.

Waikato District Health Board wanted an inviting, relaxing space with strong identity that related to the local environment to give people a sense of comfort and ownership.

And so Jasmax looked to the surrounding land for inspiration.

“Usually atriums are large spaces that people feel quite threatened to enter, but the Acute Services atrium is welcoming. Our design expresses the colours and undulations of farmland and rolling hills central to the Waikato area’s identity. A palette was created from greens, orange/yellow and slatey warm dark greys," says Marko den Breems of Jasmax.

It's also the New Zealand winner of the Fly Forbo Award 2012, dished out for standout use of Forbo flooring and surface products (Forbo is a dominant global player in vinyl and linoleum floor coverings for office, education, retail, health and aged care projects).

Wayne Donovan, managing director of Forbo Flooring Systems, said the atrium's monolithic design brought character, warmth and life to the space, as well as providing comforting privacy to visitors during a stressful time.

“Bold swathes of vivid colour and dramatic shapes create a visually exciting interior landscape that is so much more welcoming and uplifting than traditional institutional surroundings,” added co-judge Cameron Bruhn, editorial director Architectural Media.

The atrium made use of Marmoleum, a linoleum made from 97 percent natural raw materials featuring built-in anti-bacterial properties.

The Fly Forbo Australian winner was WMK Architecture of Sydney and Melbourne for its Yum! Delicious Space office fit-out.

The inspiring ‘marketplace’ concept for Yum! (the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) incorporated a graphic depiction of a town plan as part of the floor design, denoting the area as a gathering space for the whole company.

Australian commendations

·       Harmer Architecture  Monash Peninsular Activity & Recreation Centre, in Victoria

·       Suters architects - Richmond Tigers Headquarters, Victoria

·       McBride Charles Ryan Architects - PEGS Junior Boys, Victoria

·       White Cube – the Zelman Cowen Gallery of Australian Jewish History, Victoria

New Zealand commendations

·       Inside Ltd, Wellington NZ (Daniel Buxton) – New Zealand Rugby Museum and Te Manawa Museums Trust development, Palmerston North

·       Athfield Architects, Wellington, NZ - Palmerston North City Library

·       Jackson Architects Ltd, Taranaki, NZ – Waiouru Replacement School, Waiouru

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