The specialised domain of dermatology encompasses the full spectrum - from the life-saving to the cosmetic - yet always with a clear focus on aesthetic outcomes. Looking to create a truly unique offering for their patients, Brisbane’s newest practice, Q Dermatology, envisaged a space that felt instantly welcoming, looked clean but not clinically cold, and most importantly, put their valued patients at ease. And naturally, it would need to be incredibly beautiful.
Known for their contemporary and timeless design fit-outs, Brisbane’s Outline Design Office, founded by Jacinta Condon and Sally Macnaughton, was engaged to design a space that was wholly focused on patient comfort. “Through our research, we observed a ‘design’ formula that had emerged in the fit-out of specialist medical facilities, with standardised waiting chairs and reception desks and little or no connection to views and natural light. Our aim was to challenge this approach,” says Condon.
Located within a newly developed day hospital with expansive views and access to natural light, the space planning ensured that the most desirable spaces were shared with both patients and staff, from the visitor arrival through to the consult rooms. Outline Design Office looked to specify natural materials that would satisfy medical-grade design standards, be highly durable, yet offer an element of softness. Fibonacci products Flannel Flower and Wintersun, from the Intuit range, were the perfect foundation for this elegant design, both having a gentle, reassuring palette.
“From an aesthetic perspective, we wanted a floor finish that was light in colour with a bit of tonal variation so that it wasn’t too monolithic,” says Condon. “We also needed a product that had multiple colour choices within the range so that we could use different colour tiles to define zones. We chose the Flannel Flower as the main floor finish as we didn’t want a stark white environment and we felt it provided a bit of warmth and contrast. We used an element of the Wintersun on the floor to delineate the waiting and seating area which we achieved by inserting a brass inlay between the two finishes.”
The same brass inlay formed the Q Dermatology logo into the floor which enabled brand communication at the entry. “The fact that this product also comes in slab form made the logo concept easily achievable,” says Condon. The waiting area also integrates planting, a bespoke drinks station and soft seating to reinforce the focus on wellness.
“We didn’t quite expect the product, in particular the Flannel Flower, to have such an ethereal quality when installed. We chose Fibonacci because it is robust and hardwearing for high traffic, medical environment, so it was a delightful surprise to see it absorb the natural light and take on an element of softness,” says Condon. “Also, having worked in this industry for 20 years, one challenge we continue to face is the fast pace of project delivery. Selecting products that have short or no lead times minimises the risk of materials not being ready on time and therefore having to be changed and reselected, which inevitably impacts the design intent.”
Remarking on the success of the project, Fibonacci's Founder, Michael Karakolis, says “It’s inspiring to see a project with such a strong, holistic goal, being to change patient expectations for specialist medical care. And, it had a stunning aesthetic outcome - it’s such a great example of two Fibonacci products being used in tandem, showing their ability to subtly interact with other finishes.