Northern Beaches Hospital

Hospital wayfinding wall panels

Northern Beaches Hospital is a large medical facility in Sydney, Australia, with 8 floor levels and 488 beds. CPB Contractors enlisted Urbanite to design all signage and wayfinding elements for the hospital, ultimately including over 300 wall graphics and 6,000 signs.

Wayfinding can have a major impact on user experience, particularly in complex medical environments. A streamlined experience can help keep stress to a minimum. One of Urbanite’s major objectives was to provide a clear and effective wayfinding system that efficiently guides patients and visitors to their destinations. Urbanite sought to keep messaging concise and consistent throughout the exterior of the site, interiors including over 30 departments, and the car park areas.

Signs are designed to be integrated with the architecture of the building, rather than simply applied to walls and surfaces. Signs are mounted in-between wood slats at walls and incorporated into panel systems overhead. Sign materials were selected to be durable, easy to maintain, and hygenic. Patient and visitor signage utilize brighter blue and green colors, while the back of house signage uses a more neutral grey, to fade into the background.

To assist with wayfinding, Urbanite designed memorable journeys that people could describe in words instead of purely depending on sign messaging. Over 300 graphics are strategically installed at important decision points and destinations. Urbanite took inspiration from the natural area surrounding the hospital, including sandy beaches and dense bushland. The designers worked with the photographer Tim Jones, who took photographs of the diverse local flora and natural elements. Urbanite used this collection of photographs as design assets for the project and developed graphics from the images. Graphics were selected to help calm patients and provide visual interest in patient check-in areas and long corridors.

Urbanite also involved a primary school in the project to help generate the atrium graphics. A feature graphic installation extends upward over 6 floors in the atrium. The installation functions as a decorative element and an orientation element for visitors as well.

Project:  Northern Beaches Hospital
Location: Sydney, Australia
Designer: Urbanite/Frost*collective
Photographs: Toby Peet

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