We recently completed work on a large residential care home and school in Gloucestershire. The site was purchased by a specialist education and care provider who were looking to refurbish the property before reopening the service. Our scope of works for this project included initial site visits, design meetings, development of designs, preparation and sign off of full internal specifications, ordering of all items, installation of window dressings, specified furniture and art work and final room dressings for handover.
One of the concerns that came up when we first visited site was how easy it was to get lost in. Walking around was like being lost inside of a complex maze, which straight away upped the stress level of everyone trying to navigate their way around. This effect would be amplified for many of the pupils and residents and could lead to higher levels of anxiety and uncertainty. By making it easier to get around the site we hope to have made it a much more comfortable place to be.
In response to the wayfinding issues we chose to identify each area using colour. For example, the corridors in one section of the ground floor were painted in purple, while the next one along was painted in green. In the care home these colours were applied to the walls, whereas in the school the walls were left white and the skirting boards and architraves were coloured instead. Differentiating the care home and school in this way has made it easier for pupils and residents to separate their learning spaces from their living areas, providing a further sense of control and understanding over their surroundings.
As well as paint all of the art work, window dressings and furniture fabrics were chosen to support this style of wayfinding. As all of the flooring was still in good condition we had to incorporate what was already there in to our design. The feedback we have received from the manager’s on site has been extremely positive.