Recovery with Color
The Iwakura Clinic is located near the train station of the same name, in one of Nagoya’s suburbs. In addition to high-quality treatment in a pleasant atmosphere, the head of the clinic, Mr. Takada, attaches great importance to the friendly reception of his patients.
Meeting the changing requirements of regional health care, the clinic undergoes regular refurbishment and expansion, allowing the inclusion of additional medical areas. The 2002 building extension is a direct translation of Mr. Takada’s philosophy of patient-friendliness – an attitude that was carried over to the newest building, constructed in 2013.
The architecture of the new building is reminiscent of a hotel. Note that the two words “hotel” and “hospital” share a Latin root: hospitalitas (“hospitality”).
The idea of a friendly patient reception is therefore a return to the hospital’s original intent. Says Mr. Takada: “When going to a hotel, you’re full of excitement. When going to a hospital, you’re full of anxiety. I believe that this should change. The words ‘hotel’ and ‘hospital’ have the same etymological roots, after all – the difference is solely based on us offering health-care services instead.”
During the two building expansions, he asked friends and acquaintances to provide extensive feedback on hospitals and health-care facilities abroad. German hospitals and their environments, he discovered, most closely corresponded to his own ideas and served as a model for his facilities. His designs incorporate three essential elements: light, air and color, the lack of which form the foundation for a negative hospital experience.
In the middle of the three-storied annex from 2002, a large inner courtyard in the style of an atrium was built. The ground floor of the 2013 building houses a rehabilitation center with large windows overlooking the picturesque landscape, as well as a patio designed as an inner courtyard. Skylights on the second and third floors let light and air into the hospital interior and illuminate the patio. But the other spaces also emphasize light: The generous use of surface lights, combined with indirect lighting, creates an arc of light and colors. The furniture is primarily made from wood and leather, and the interior design echoes the colors and warmth of natural materials such as wood and stone.
When going to a hotel, you’re full of excitement. When going to a hospital, you’re full of anxiety. I believe that this should change.
Mr. Takada also believes that the purpose of a hospital is to make its patients healthy again. He therefore specifically chose strong hues from the USM Haller color palette to help foster convalescence. The ruby-red desks of the main clinic reception, for example, create a unique ambiance while simultaneously serving as a space for storing office material. Orange was the color of choice for the reception area of the rehabilitation center.
Wherever patient-friendliness is key, USM Haller’s vast color choices play a fundamental role, as does the furniture’s functionality, in optimally supporting everyday work practices.