Saint Michael campus (Etterbeek, Belgium) of the Europe Clinics recently put a renewed emergency department into service. Design-wise, VK Architects & Engineers wanted to incorporate both optimal efficiency as well as a sense of security.
Europe Clinics is the largest group of private hospitals in Brussels. It operates on 2 sites, Saint Elisabeth’s and Saint Michael’s, both situated in a very dense urban environment.
The emergency services of both campuses deal with an increasing influx of patients, urging a renovation of the department for Saint Michael’s. The design meets the functional challenges in various ways. The clean and clinical interior design is in keeping with the medical focus of the ER.
Also, since last year, Europe Clinics applies the ESI-triage system. This allows for an immediate sorting of patients according to five levels of urgency. This triage is reflected in the clear zoning of the space and in the colours on the box doors: red for high-care, yellow for medium-care and green for low-care.
In contrast, the design of the waiting areas focuses on the mental wellbeing. In this stressful context, VK has created a more informal zone that offers serenity. A place that expresses a sense of security. The 2 waiting areas, at the reception and in the centre of the low-care area, are furnished in warm colours and materials. The lighting and acoustical ceiling add to defining an informal and inviting area.
The waiting area in the low-care part has a striking anchor. A stylized tree offers a pleasing visual distraction. Foremost, the image calls forth associations that introduce serenity and peace in the hectic environment of an ER.