Thailand – While hospitals have traditionally been places with sterile, clinical aesthetics, EKH Children’s Hospital is rethinking medical institutions with its playful design.
Created by Integrated Field after extensive research into hospital design, the organisation noticed a growing trend towards luxury institutions – but decided that a children’s hospital should prioritise fun over high-end features. Incorporating many components of playground design, the space welcomes children with a giant slide in the entrance hall, along with waiting areas that double up as playgrounds.
Also challenging the traditional signifiers of a medical space, EKH features soft pastel interiors and wayfinding that veers away from prosaic room names to give spaces animal titles such as whale, turtle, lion and rabbit, which each have their namesake animal emblazoned on the ceiling. The in-between spaces are also designed in a user-sensitive way, with details such as seating and doorways made in child-friendly proportions.
As we explore in our Soft Aid Design Direction, healthcare brands and medical services are increasingly taking inspiration from lifestyle brands to rebrand the sector as more human and emotional.