Official Project Name: Westmount Square Surgical Center
Location: Westmount, QC, Canada
Studio: Espace 313
Designers team: Debby Pagé, Gatline Artis & Kelian Vallier
Suppliers: Slik Design, Decor Veronneau, Ramacieri Soligo, Studio Bottè, Bludot, Gauley Brothers, Distrimar, Artopex, Cime, AND Light, Jacques & Anna
Area: 7850 sq.ft.
Photo credit: Maxime Brouillet
Awards: Gold certification at the Grands Prix du Design – 16th edition
In the heart of Westmount, Canada, Espace 313 is embarking on an exciting journey to transform a medical clinic situated in the iconic Westmount Square building, designed by the legendary Mies van der Rohe in the 1960s. The project has a singular goal: to reinvent the traditional medical clinic by emphasizing the human experience and well-being. Espace 313, an interior design firm, is determined to breathe new life into this 8,000 sq. ft. private surgical center, steering away from the clinical and cold ambiance that often characterizes healthcare environments.
Maximizing Natural Light for a Soothing Ambiance
Espace 313 places human well-being at the core of its creative process. To achieve this, the design proposal is built around functional and aesthetic choices that aim to positively influence both patients and staff. The design leverages the abundant natural light in the space, significantly reducing the dependence on artificial lighting during the day. Additionally, the installation of glazed partitions facilitates the diffusion of natural light throughout the building, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. This is a stark contrast to the typically cold and sterile lighting found in healthcare facilities.
The designers at Espace 313 have drawn inspiration from environmental psychology to define the characteristics of each element within the space. Their goal is to create a unique and stress-reducing experience for visitors and patients undergoing significant medical procedures. Central to their design is the principle of a connection to nature. This concept is brought to life through a soft, earthy color palette, curved volumes, and the use of natural materials that impart a residential aesthetic. The introduction of vegetation further enhances the connection to the outdoors, promoting relaxation among users.
Inspired by the Human Body
The administrative spaces, including the reception, consultation rooms, and offices, draw their design inspiration from the aesthetics and softness of the human body. This inspiration is evident in the choice of materials and their visual qualities. For instance, faux plaster wall finishes, crafted by a local artisan, introduce a soft and imperfect visual quality, harmoniously juxtaposed with terracotta brick walls that differ in color, porosity, and material hardness. Organic lines in furniture and the presence of natural-looking textiles contribute to the warm and inviting atmosphere.
Consistency in Design
One of the primary challenges faced by the Espace 313 team was ensuring consistency in the design, extending from the administrative area to the consultation and pre- and post-operative spaces. These specialized areas require materials and equipment that typically don’t align with the sophisticated aesthetics of the administrative zone. Extensive research was conducted to bridge the gap, resulting in the use of high-performance materials that offer a residential feel. Wood-effect finishes, imitation linen fabrics, and artificial vegetation were carefully integrated into these areas, achieving a consistent ambiance throughout the clinic.
Attention to Detail
Even the sanitary facilities haven’t been overlooked in terms of design. Materials and lighting have been meticulously chosen to ensure that patients feel comfortable and at ease at every moment of their stay.
Reimagining the Future of Medical Clinics
In its conceptual proposal, Espace 313 presents a fresh perspective on hospital design. It envisions the medical clinic of the future where aesthetics and warmth seamlessly coexist with health and the hospital environment. This bold endeavor is set to redefine the way we perceive medical facilities, focusing on the comfort and well-being of all those who enter its doors. The design serves as a testament to the power of architecture in enhancing the human experience and promoting well-being in healthcare settings.