Ideally, hospitals would never have to look so plain scary, especially for the little ones. But, that's where architecture can make all the difference! One instance is the Juliana's Children's Hospital, which was recently named the overall winner of the 2015 SBID International Design Excellence Awards. First launched in 2011 by the Society of British and International Design, the awards program recognizes top-notch projects that embody the value of innovative design with positive real-life impact.
Designed by Utrecht-based Tinker imagineers, the hospital won out of 198 finalists from 41 countries in 14 categories. Located in The Hague in The Netherlands, the hospital's interior features interactive characters and playful animations that accompany young patients to help ease those jitters during their entire visit.
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'This project was awarded specifically on its ground-breaking ability to interact with the end user and changes the expectations of how interior design is received within this sector of design’, stated Vanessa Brady OBE, the president of the SBID.
"Five characters, Hugg, Happy, Fold, C-bot and Vizzle, play the main roles in the children’s experience. These little friends accompany the patients on their journey through the new Juliana Children’s Hospital and appear everywhere.
In the most nerve-racking situations, such as the corridor to the OR, the treatment rooms and the elevators, these characters come to life in moving projections and interactive animations."
According to Fréderique Hofstede, pediatrician and medical manager of the Juliana Children’s Hospital, the goal of the design concept was to 'create a wondrous world that would provide distraction. Research shows that a child-friendly, distracting environment reduces stress and the perception of pain in sick children, which helps them to recover sooner.'
‘A great surprise,' Tinker partner/director Stan Boshouwers commented in a statement, after the firm was named the overall SBID Award winner. ‘International recognition on this scale for a meaningful and experimental project such as the Juliana Children’s Hospital feels very special. We hope to set a trend to improve healthcare design with creative technology and storytelling.’
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