Colors and psychology come together at the St Vincent’s O’Brien Hospital young adults mental health unit. “The choice of colour in a project like this is an important one. Colours can evoke certain emotions and therefore can assist with the healing process in a subtle non-threatening way. Hence it is important to in a project like this one to consciously chose every colour and understand the power that colour choices can play in the design process.” Alan McMahon, Lead interior designer at Woods Bagot.
A neutral backgroud was used to create a calming, relaxing interior, and to accomodate the use of several other accent colors. Colors found in nature, browns, creams, stone colors and beige help to achieve the relaxing effect, hence the use of a lot of wood (a material not often used in healthcare). The chosen accent colors we’re based on research, being orange, blue and green. They never put strong colors together for the St Vincent’s hospital to align patient’s feelings so they feel content with the space. Also, graphics like guitars and trees we’re used, geared towards the adolescents that would be visiting the hospital.
“Research shows that the following colours affect us in different ways; blue and green have been shown to promote relaxation and balance, whilst yellow and orange activate and energise. We based the colour selection on functional purpose of room. If the room was to be used for socialization, warm colours such as yellow and orange were used, however if the purpose of the room was to promote relaxation colours such as blue and green were used.”
A hospital is never a good to place to be, but at St Vincent’s hospital, Woods Bagots has made an environment more appropriate to healing and mental relaxation, to the benifit of the patients that need to be there. (Quotes and photo’s courtesy of Woods Bagots)