PFM 20 7 - Page 24

Altro Solution Brings Life to
Design-Led Hull Birth Centre
complete floors and walls solution from Altro has been
used to create a relaxing, stylish and home from home environment for mums-to-be in a new birth
centre at Hull Women and Children’s
The new midwife-led Fatima Allam Birth
Centre has been designed to meet the
needs of women who want a more natural childbirth experience. It comprises
three birthing rooms, each individually
designed to create a homely and relaxed feel in beautiful surroundings,
while also providing a safe, hygienic
The rooms feature a birthing bed, birthing pool, ensuite bathroom and additional equipment, which is cleverly
concealed within hidden wall panelling.
The design vision for the Fatima Allam
Birth Centre was to create an environment that looked entirely non-clinical, a
home from home for mums-to-be; relaxing, calm, very contemporary in its design and a tranquil haven in which to
experience this life-changing event.
Andrew Ledger, contracts manager for
Apleona, which provides facilities management for the building, oversaw the
new construction and was part of the
team that devised the overall concept of
the birth centre.
“We had a very specific idea of what we
wanted the centre to look like, and how
we wanted it to function,” Andrew says.
“As a midwife-led unit, a relaxed and
homely atmosphere was essential, however a priority was of course infection
control, hygiene, durability and quality.
“We specified Altro floors and walls from
the start because we are using these
products elsewhere in the hospital with
a great deal of success. They meet all
our clinical hygiene and infection control
needs, while also offering a superb
range of colours and textures, which
makes them ideal for creating a modern
and stylish environment.
“The quality and durability of Altro is a
major factor too because, as a PFI
project, the long-term cost is under
close scrutiny.
Professional artist and designer Adele
Howitt, from Studio Eleven Gallery &
Workshop in Hull, won a commission
from the hospital to design the interior
concept for the new birth centre. She
provided various colour ways, materials,
and themes, to inspire the team. The
colour palette was agreed and a range
of approved products to work with, including Altro floors and walls.
“Choosing the colour scheme for the
birth unit was a team effort between
myself, the hospital midwifery team, and
Mrs Fatima Allam herself, whose husband generously donated funds towards the unit.
“Once we had decided on colours, we
worked closely with Altro to look at the
specific products that would meet our
brief. They were very hands-on, with
technical guidance and information,
plenty of new ideas, and suggesting
products we hadn’t previously considered. They completely understood our
practical and aesthetic needs.”
Adele says: “This was something very
different, very special. Childbirth is such
a major life event and research has
shown that the environment in which a
woman gives birth can have a profound
effect on the anxiety or fear she may
experience. A hospital can be a very
stressful environment at such a key time
in a person’s life and can lead to feelings of loss of control.
“I wanted each of the birthing rooms in
the new centre to have its own individual
style, personality, textures and colours,
with the feel of a chic boutique hotel. But
I chose an overall theme to link them,
which was flowers of Egyptian mythology, one for each room — Lotus, Persea
and Jasmine.
“Rather than hanging pictures on the
walls, I wanted to create more profound
artistic design features in the birth and
shower rooms so I used Altro Whiterock
Digiclad to create statement walls from
floor to ceiling. This is a fantastic product for design-led projects because you
can print any image or photograph onto
it, and the quality is superb.”
Altro Whiterock Digiclad™ is ideal for
creating the right impression with a bespoke design on your wall. From a calming coastal landscape in a hospital ward
to a bold company logo in a reception
imagination. Altro Whiterock Digiclad is
created by reproducing a photographic
image or vector art on to Altro Whiterock
wall sheet, with consistent, photographic quality. Hard-coat technology provides scratch-resistant properties for
added surface protection, making Altro
Whiterock Digiclad ideal for areas
where durability is important.
Adele chose Altro Whiterock Satins™
for the shower rooms. She says “It has
some wonderful shades, and the subtle,
sheer texture is very stylish.”
Altro Whiterock Satins is a versatile and
sophisticated hygienic walls system
available in a range of solid, decorative,
satin shades – from soothing and healing through to bright and energetic. It
provides all the impact resistance and
hygiene you would expect from Altro
Whiterock, with a stain-resistant, wipeclean surface.
Adele continues: “These walls products
enabled me to create some exciting and
innovative designs for each room and
gave me enormous scope to create the
look and feel I wanted of stylish calm,
individual strength and beauty, without
having to compromise.
“The Lotus room has a beach theme,
with grey painted walls. Here I used
Altro Whiterock Digiclad on three statement walls with a stylised image of
enlarged grains of sand. In the Lotus
shower room, I chose an image of a
wave on one wall, and on the three
remaining walls Altro Whiterock Satins
in Cream.
“Persea has a forest theme, and for this
room I chose a monochrome wood
grain image for the Altro Whiterock Digiclad walls. In the shower room, the wall
sheet depicts pebbles.
“The Jasmine suite is all about meadows. The wall sheet features beautiful
pastel lilac, green and cream wild flowers, while the shower room has a lovely


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