Alder Hey in the Park is a truly world-class, patient-friendly hospital – making a crucial difference to the 270,000 patients and families who visit every year. Its vision is to be an inviting, warm, happy, calming and educational facility and provide a home-from-home for children who need care.
Specifying materials that would help that vision become a reality was essential for main contractors, Laing O’Rourke, and architects, BDP (Building Design Partnership). They also needed to ensure that alongside delivering an aesthetically pleasing finish, they specified a high performance hygiene coating that was fit for the unique issues that a hospital environment brings. This led them to select Johnstone’s Trade’s Microbarr range.
The range helps prevent the spread of harmful bacteria that can lead to the proliferation of ‘superbugs’ like MRSA and E.Coli and was the perfect product for a project of this scale and significance.
Microbarr Anti-Bacterial Acrylic Matt was applied over the course of the two-year decorating cycle, covering 51,000m² of walls and ceilings. A wide variety of colours were used throughout the building, including warm grey, avocado green, yellow, taupe, cobalt blue and olive. This helped to create the inviting atmosphere that was so important to the client and building’s designers.
The involvement of Johnstone’s technical advisory department, PPG Extra, from the outset was pivotal to the success of the decoration work, with detailed specifications and colour consultation undertaken with the NHS Trust and architects in the early stages of the project.
Ged Couser, Architect Director at BDP, said: “Colour is a critical aspect of the design solution, particularly for the interior spaces and it is used imaginatively and strategically throughout. For example, it is used to highlight vertical circulation core locations, department receptions and bedroom ward groupings around nurse bases. This contributes to intuitive wayfinding, which is further emphasised by the otherwise neutral background colour to provide contrast.
“We wanted to create an environment that was functional and efficient and which responded directly to infection control requirements. However, at the same time we wanted to create a place that lifted the spirits, and where colour was infused into the architecture, interior design, graphics and artwork in an intelligent and creative way.”
Products from Johnstone’s Microbarr range have been used across a number of large-scale healthcare projects across the UK, most notably at Southmead Hospital in Bristol. The brand’s unique approach to the psychology of colour was also utilised at St Luke’s Hospital in Bradford recently, where it joined forces with leading artists to create an environment friendly for people with dementia.