Designwell 16 Tend Health

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Alexander Wastney
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Alanah McCormick, Jacki Welten, Felicity Zhou
  • Client
    Tend Health

Tend are transforming New Zealand Healthcare by empowering Kiwis to take control of their own health and wellbeing. They believe in accessible, responsive and tailored healthcare that puts people first, making the hard stuff easy, the complex simple and the embarrassing bits more comfortable. They’re people too and they’ve got your back.

Working with a previously inefficient and outdated medical clinic and pharmacy, our brief for the Tend Health Symonds St clinic was to improve the efficiencies of the space, make it more responsive to their existing community and a better fit for modern medicine. We had a common goal with the client to redefine the ordinary by turning traditional healthcare delivery on its head.

With a bold existing brand as well as fierce dedication to the therapeutic wellness model, our design needed to strike a fine balance: honouring Tend’s vibrant brand while maintaining a sense of calm throughout the clinic. Greeted by a bright, fresh waiting space, patients are disarmed by the brand’s confidence, conviction and cheer. Biophilic design considerations are used wherever possible throughout the space, optimising staff health while also calming patients and better readying them for their healthcare interaction. Natural timber joinery, both a timber and a green feature wall and large windows for filtered natural light all work together to soften the space and put patients at ease. Acoustic panelling is integrated throughout the space to manage patient privacy and promote a sense of quality and calm.

Basic waiting room elements are made a feature, such as the brand coral hydration station inset to the timber wall and the acoustic ceiling panels featuring the brand icon in signature purple. Further promoting brand presence without compromising on therapeutic elements, larger areas utilise softened pastel tints of the brand colours. Inviting and comforting, the pastels also function as a zoning method, informing the different uses of the space.

Perhaps our most significant innovation in this project was the configuration of the consult rooms. Adopting a ‘rooming’ model, patients are roomed straight away and wait times are significantly reduced. By applying a universal design to all consult rooms, they are not specific to one doctor but are responsive to both patient and clinician at the time. Completely bespoke, the consult rooms remove physical barriers and foster eye-level communication, allowing doctors to work alongside their patients and humanising the interaction. Natural materials extend the reception area’s calm, with further practical considerations for material selections coming into play in the consult rooms, such as the use of cork in the nurses’ area, chosen for its antimicrobial properties.

Being a healthcare facility in a pandemic era, we also factored a viral clinic into our design. Tend’s ‘red room’ can be used for general day-to-day practice and quickly switched to an isolation room, with options for oxygen, negative air pressure and space for donning and doffing PPE.

A highly technical project, the new Tend clinic is a beautiful, well balanced and efficient space that calmly facilitates a people-focused healthcare service.