Project team:

Client: Novamed Polyclinic, Zagreb/CRO
Architects: Ante Niksa Bilic, Vanja Biscanic, Suncica Mastelic-Ivic
Lighting design: Skira Ltd. / Dean Skira, Maja Lipovcic, Zagreb/CRO;
Interior design: Ante Niksa Bilic, Vanja Biscanic, Suncica Mastelic-Ivic
Manufacturer: Artemide, Filix, Flos, Foscarini, Ideallux, iGuzzini, Leucos, Oty light,

21. Feb 2012

The Novamed Polyclinic in Zagreb/CRO features an extraordinary lighting design scheme – extraordinary for a healthcare facility

Text: Dean Skira, Sandra Lindner, Deborah Burnett
Photos: Vjekoslav Skledar

Healthcare projects are a great challenge for lighting designers. Nowadays many medical institutions are being built to make the interior spaces look as non-institutional as possible. In addition to its practical functions, such as increasing security, providing visual comfort and enhancing people’s activities, lighting also has another important task: creating positive emotions! You might go as far as to say that we would like to see more people in hospitals with a smile on their faces– as a sign they are coping with their physical condition or diagnosed illnesses.

A residential and relaxed atmosphere is beneficial to patients´ health, and a subtle, unobtrusive lighting system can help accomplish that goal. A number of medical re-search studies already point to the connection between light and emotions and the benefits this can bring. It therefore made sense for the Croatian lighting design team from Skira Ltd. to apply this know-how in a medical institution. The resulting designed lighting scheme leads to patients practically forgetting that they are in a clinic in Zagreb. Realised in 2010, the newly built clinic is located on the outskirts of Zagreb. The private medical centre for outpatients combines different medical departments and services: internal medicine, gynaecology, paediatrics, dentistry and radiology, as well as a pharmacy and a beauty and wellness centre. People entering a clinic – up to now at least – tend to feel nervous or apprehensive, irrespective of whether they are a patient or a visitor. We are generally ‘welcomed’ by bare white walls. If there is any colour involved at all, it is usually an indefinable shade of grey-green. The furnishings are serviceable and non-descript; the light provided by ceiling-mounted fluorescent battens bright. The words that spring to mind to describe the ambience are ‘sterile’ and ‘impersonal’. The regular lighting systems applied may well fulfil safety and hygiene standards, but do not go a long way to address human needs – the ‘feel good’ aspect. The kind of facilities people are sent to or have to find their way to when they are not feeling well, or possibly serious ill or injured should be designed to make them feel they are in good hands and help them to cope with their situation. Lighting designers Dean Skira and Maja Lipovcic from Skira Ltd. in Pula, Croatia wanted to create an environment where the patient would not feel the pressure and formality of a medical institution, spaces that might be fun sometimes and dynamic, colourful and inviting, where the lighting may change over the day and has nothing to do with the sterile and depressing atmosphere we generally associate medical centres with. […]
The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 80/81.

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