‘Homely atmosphere in a medical environment’

‘Homely atmosphere in a medical environment’

St. Antonius Hospital, Maternity Centre

The newly constructed Maternity Centre is a place where women can give birth as comfortably as possible while in the presence of their loved ones. In addition, the maternity centre’s employees can provide optimal, safe and hygienic family-centred care. Gispen realised a homely atmosphere in this medical environment in close collaboration with the interior architect, the medical staff and the interior commission of the St. Antonius Hospital.

32 maternity rooms in the new Maternity Centre

The St. Antonius Hospital strives to give every newborn the best possible start at life. Research shows that the bond between the mother and their maternity nurses is a determining factor in the well-being of the child. This is why the hospital offers family-centred care in addition to obstetric care. St. Antonius Hospital not only believes that the mother and child should remain in each other’s presence, it also allows the family to be closely involved in the period surrounding the birth of the child. Client Wenny Braam, department head of Services St Antonius Hospital: “This philosophy demands an environment where everybody can feel at ease. This is why stress reduction and a homely atmosphere were key requirements for the furnishing of the maternity- and family rooms of our new Maternity Centre in Utrecht.”

The client’s thoughts

“We have been partners with Gispen and Peter van der Linden for many years, who manages every Gispen project for St. Antonius Hospital. It’s great to know that you can rely on your supplier for the best possible solution. Furnishing within a medical environment equals working within a strict set of rules. Once again, Gispen and interior architect Anne Blussé van Oud-Alblas managed to put the patient at the centre of care and create a homely atmosphere for them at our new Maternity Centre.”

Wenny Braam Department head of Services St Antonius Hospital

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Functional, ergonomic and aesthetic

Interior architect Anne Blussé van Oud-Alblas of Lab3 Interior Design has conducted research into how colours affect one’s mood. This resulted in a colour scheme that comprises of sun-yellow, soft-blue and warm-green. This palette served as a guiding principle for Gispen in supplying the custom-made and refurbished furniture. Another focus point was the practicality of the furniture. Peter van der Linden, Gispen Business Manager and project supervisor for all orders of St Antonius Hospital: “A delicate woollen fabric would have been impractical; some of the furniture at the Maternity Centre is cleaned with the use of cleaning agents. We have successfully combined two contradicting features, that of ‘homeliness’ and ‘practicality’, by applying purposely-designed fabrics; the upholstery is both colourful and soft to the touch.” The seating for (expectant) mothers is tailormade and meets special demands. The seat is a little higher and the armrest is adapted as well. According to interior architect Anne Blussé van Oud-Alblas: “Gispen has the ability to supply healthcare-focused furniture without compromising design, functionality and ergonomics.”

Refurbished cribs

In addition to the furnishing request, St Antonius Hospital wanted Gispen to reuse as much of the old furniture as possible, both from a financial and social standpoint. Take the cribs, for example, which were retained upon the request of the medical staff. Gispen took the cribs apart, painted them in three different colours and put them back together again. Anne Blussé van Oud-Alblas: “Meeting such a request actually becomes easier when you have Gispen at your side. They only settle for the very best, even when dealing with strict guidelines and a tight deadline. They can handle anything.” Lab3 came up with a digital full colour print on HPL, intended for one of the panels of the cabinet behind which medical equipment is stored. “This ensures that the equipment is out of sight but is still accessible. I designed a type of trompe-l’oeil panel for the cabinet, with books and children’s toys. A feature that gives the maternity rooms a personal touch and provides a welcome distraction.”

Homely atmosphere

A wide variety of furniture has been applied in order to create a homely atmosphere in both the family- and treatment rooms as well as the offices. The furniture at the Maternity Centre includes tables from the TM-, UT- and IC collection. The tables at the family rooms and maternity rooms are combined with Gispen 101 and 201 chairs with Vyva Fabrics upholstery. Some examples of typical ‘homely’ furniture: the Gispen Triennial lounge chairs, striking custom-made sofas of TootheZoo, the DLM side table by Hay, 2600 sofas and armchairs, train-booth sofas and of course the Bronto children’s chairs by Richard Hutten. Brightly coloured tables and chairs from Fermob have been placed outside. Peter van der Linden: “With the use of colour, materials, images and furniture, Gispen and Anne Blussé van Oud-Alblas managed to create an interior which is both homely and practical. The latter being the most important for the Maternity Centre; nurses and medical specialists must be able to work without obstruction in order to give every newborn the very best start at life.”



Photography: René Gonkel Fotografie

The interior architect’s thoughts

“The Maternity Centre revolves mostly around life, but sometimes death is present there as well. An interior that only exudes happiness would be inappropriate, in some cases. Stress reduction served as my guiding principle while working on this project, which can be achieved through distraction, comfort, attention and colours, but also by means of furniture. A easy-to-recognise front desk and chairs that provide pregnant women in distress with an easy and comfortable seat. Together with Gispen, we created a homely atmosphere which at the same time allows the medical staff to provide family- centred care.”

Anne Blussé van Oud-Alblas Lab3 Interior Design

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