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Breaking the mould in hospital design, the Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, perfectly combines the properties of form, function, hygiene and clinical cleanliness thanks in part to the generous use of HI-MACS® solid surface material for its friendly reception area. Created by award winning TODD Architects with Hall Black Douglas, and fabricated by McLaughlin and Harvey Specialist Joinery, this new-build public space is the first of its kind in the UK and Ireland. Positioned on a Greenfield site on the outskirts of Omagh, the building was designed in response to recent healthcare reports and future initiatives. The brief for the architects included creating a ‘natural environment for healing’ and the hospital is specifically designed to offer short-term services to help tackle waiting lists while bringing together acute and primary services under one roof.
HI-MACS® in Pebble Pearl and Arctic Granite was the ideal choice for the reception area’s curvaceous desks. Ultra hygienic, this seamless, solid surface material is non-porous with no grooves or joins to harbour dirt, germs or bacteria, making it perfectly suited to a public area. It’s so easy to clean with just a damp cloth and is easily repairable should any scratches appear over time. As it can be thermoformed, it can also be used to create curves within furniture as these stylish reception desks demonstrate.
A palette of brick, glass and aluminium cladding are key architectural features of the building’s material structure, and were designed to blend seamlessly into the countryside landscape that surrounds it. The use of HI-MACS® creates a warm welcome within what could otherwise feel cool and clinical. The hospital itself is made up of a series of two and three-storey connected pavilions, which enclose a number of peaceful, relaxing courtyard gardens. The interlinked spaces house different hospital departments with all areas accessible from either a glazed atrium main entrance or an Urgent Care ambulance entrance. Efficient and ordered, the entire building is easily navigated by patients, visitors and staff alike, with a natural, ergonomic flow throughout. Breakout areas meanwhile are designed to promote inclusiveness with informal meeting spaces as well as social spots for everyone to relax.
“This was a very interesting project for us,” says Andrew Murray, Director of TODD Architects, “in that it represents a refreshed approach to the traditional delivery of healthcare services. This new complex is distinctively designed as an environment for healing by creating a connection between the patient and the outside.”