My passion for design is rooted in the time I spent hospitalized as a child. I grew to learn the impact that the built environment has on human emotions and behaviours. The Interior design profession combines creativity and technology to build spaces from the ground up. After a severe series of hospital stays, I understand that my purpose is to use the skill set of interior designers to transform the healthcare environment from stark and sterile to supportive and engaging.
This design proposes a satellite pediatric haematology clinic for the Hospital for Sick Children ( SickKids). The facility is located in the New Toronto Neighborhood where it is accessible by TTC public transit bus and streetcar routes and is secured by the Humber College Lakeshore Campus Security. The purpose of this facility is to bring the services of the haematology clinic away from the downtown hospital campus and into the communities of Sick Kids primary users, patients and their families. This satellite clinic offers state-of-the-art services that are required for premium preventative wellness and monitoring. Moreover, the space has an intuitive and seamless flow of comfort and functionality.
Rationale and Design Narrative
This design tells the story of a haematologist, a guardian, and a child. The facility allows haematologists to have full access to the tools and services that they require to effectively and efficiently care for their patients. Locating the clinic outside of the downtown core benefits parents and guardians who otherwise have no need to travel there. The removed stress of having to travel downtown is complemented by the light and cheery aesthetic of the clinic, which lends itself to children feeling less pressured. Indeed, the space is one where they can play, learn, and be independent.
Design Connection to Research
From September to December 2019, I studied existing spaces in Toronto, where haematology services are offered. My research showed that there were a limited number of organizations that are accessible to patients in need of specific services and that they are all downtown. The treatments for such a division of healthcare include longwinded blood transfusions regularly, weekly, biweekly or monthly check-ups and constant close monitoring. There is substantial research evidence that proves healthy environments aid in patient well being. Roger S. Ulrich described three aspects of space that make for a supportive design: control, social support and positive distractions. I used these three keys for supportive design in my proposal for a successful haematology clinic.
Character of Space
The concept of the space is fluidity. I intend to create a space that flows with the process of visiting a clinic. I focused my concept into the organization of the space; from the moment of entry, through the waiting process to the scheduling of future appointments. Physically, I designed the space to mimic the feel of water flowing and natural movement, using soft edges and a neutral-toned colour palette. The site I chose was previously a car dealership, with a secondary level change compensated for with a ramp. This ramp became a significant design challenge within the 18,000 SQF of space. To overcome it, I oriented my entrance near this ramp and used it as a threshold from the reception and social zone into the clinic. I used the element of volume in my space to distinguish social areas, treatment areas and personal areas.
This satellite facility aims to eliminate the need for patients to travel to downtown Toronto to receive quality care; therefore, I made sure to include all the primary treatment and monitoring services used by hematologists. The infusion centre is the most remarkable area of the space because blood transfusions, stem cell infusions and chemotherapy are all services that are rarely offered off of the hospital. Yet it is often the primary method of therapy, for patients with sickle cell disease, haemophilia leukaemia etc. As a remote facility, these spaces are well equipped to serve patients and their families. There are blood testing services, two x rays, ten exam rooms (all equipped with both pediatric and adult-sized exam tables), private offices for the haematologists and ultrasound rooms. I intended for the space to be a space where the community could come and gather. Therefore I've included a large café a transformable waiting room. The waiting room can be used outside of clinic hours to hold information sessions about blood disorders and current news. It can be used as an afterschool space for the children in the community also.