Design Brief

Leading provider of audiological care and services, House of Hearing, asked Retail Design to help with the design of their new flagship audiology clinic. The first challenge was establish if House of Hearing’s sought-after property, a listed Georgian 3 story townhouse, located on the historic and prestigious Melville Crescent, Edinburgh, had the potential to be transformed into a flagship audiology clinic. To do so, Retail Experience Design completed a feasibility layout review and survey, along with various space planning options to understand the potential of the space. This process allowed Retail Experience Design to derive that the property had the makings of a flagship audiology clinic.

Completely enamoured by the charm and location of the listed building, House of Hearing’s ambition was to transform the building into their new flagship clinic. However, as expected with a Grade a building, various architectural challenges and space imperfections were evident throughout the building, resulting in a full restoration being the easiest route from a design perspective. However, restoration projects of this type can easily run into £millions – this simply wasn’t an option for House of Hearing and their modest budget.

Our Approach

By nature, clinic interior design is complex, with a myriad of technical specifications needed for the the delivery of specialist and expert care and to comply to specific healthcare specifications, and HIS registration. Despite this, House of Hearing took the challenge of clinic design to the next level with the added confinements of their listed Grade A property – making the project considerable in both scale and challenge.

The design brief itself was multi-faceted, and whilst House of Hearing aspired for their new flagship clinic to position them as leading experts in the audiology field, the clinics brand values are centred firmly around providing affordable excellence and accessibility to everyone.

The design of the clinic needed to work with House of Hearings brand, but the brand struggled to translate the warmer values into the physical environment. The space needed to feel welcoming and friendly; peaceful and safe as well as professional and clinically advanced. To achieve this Retail Experience Design developed House of Hearing brand to help it translate into the physical environment, including the addition of lifestyle graphics and messages to help patients feel at ease and reassured, whilst careful consideration was given to materials and fixtures and fittings to create warmth.

Visuals

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Visuals

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Visuals

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Visuals

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Visuals

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Visuals

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What we delivered

Retail Experience Design’s challenge was to transform the existing space, yet without the indulgence of a restoration project budget – the design needed to deliver on creativity, clinic practicality as well as being financially realistic.

For this reason, the design approach worked with the existing architecture and features to make to budget work harder and further. With clever design, Retail Experience Design successfully concealed the buildings imperfections and old inherent structural issues – a great example was the use of over cladding and timber panels and living wall timber throughout the building.

Detail Drawings

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Detail Drawings

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Detail Drawings

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Managing the noise control of the physical space was crucial in helping to create a positive patient experience whilst providing clinicians with a highly efficient workspace. As well as soundproof pods, the clinic walls were treated with a range of specialist acoustic materials to absorb sound, minimise noise, and prevent echoing. The acoustic materials also provided a unique decorative design feature that fostered the House of Hearing brand and created warmth throughout the listed building.

All of the key clinic components including reception and waiting area, 3 audio clinics, 3 wax rooms, otoscopy repairs room as well as staff, kitchen and amenities were dextrously comprised into the physical environment – the result – a new benchmark for audiology care facilities in Europe.

Client Response

This project has been our most ambitious so far, and I believe the clinic has established a new benchmark for Audiology and Aural care facilities in Europe. We felt it was crucial to work with designers who shared our vision and our passion for creating an environment that clinicians would be proud to practise in and that patients would feel special and cared for within.

Of course, whilst critical, vision and passion will only take you so far and you then need a team who can actually create the design and bring that design to life in a real space. Quite simply this is what Retail Experience Design do – and no one does it better From concept to completion Retail Experience Design were helpful, courteous professional and above all effective Agreed deadlines were hit, Agreed budgets were achieved and Agreed designs were delivered.

We look forward to working with Dean and the team again to create our next fabulous facility.

 

Colin Campbell
Director
TAC Holding

Process

Before

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Sketches

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Visuals

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Detail Drawings

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Final Photo

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"And the patients and clinicians? - well they love it - our patients are now visiting us in numbers we could not have imagined or hoped for and we are delighted to welcome them to our world class facility."

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