AFL Architects | Leicester Children's Hospital Interiors
Press enter to search

Leicester Children's Hospital Interiors

← Back to projects

A new, state-of-the-art dedicated Children’s Hospital for the East Midlands, including the major refurbishment of existing facilities.

In its entirety, the project involved the design and delivery of the Outpatient and Diagnostic Department, Cardiac Ward, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and theatres, as well as ancillary and parent bedrooms.

The variety of spaces and user groups necessitated identification of key themes that bring children delight and comfort throughout their experience at the hospital. Working with spaces for young children, adolescents, parents and mixed families, we approached the interior design from each perspective, underpinning the key elements of fun, freedom and imagination through the use of colour, shape and form.

Exploring galaxies and following shooting stars in a welcoming space

The Leicester Children’s Hospital brand is a rocket ship, drawing inspiration from the nearby National Space Centre. Using this idea as an initial foundation, we evolved it into a contemporary take on the concept. Throughout the hospital, circular forms and lighting create subtle solar systems, applying practical function within form.

On arrival, the reception and waiting area sets the tone, with a neutral palette contrasting with vibrant touches of colour in the choices of upholstery vinyl and inset flooring. The bespoke reception desk encourages flow around the space, with a variety of loose seating arrangements to allow family clusters to interact with the space and sit together comfortably. Wayfinding is highly visual and bright, being easy to understand and visible from floor to ceiling in the choices of specific colours and shapes.

Leicester Childrens Hospital Interiors small AFL Architects 3

Designing for everyone in the family with a contemporary and playful approach

The children’s waiting room is a space for activity and interaction. Encouraging individuality in a separate, kids-only zone, seating nooks and soft furnishings designate a clear area for play. Vertical wooden slats separate the space while providing unobstructed views from the waiting area to ensure safety and security for caregivers.

Meanwhile, the adolescent zone emphasises gadgets and grown-up responsibility. A high bench creates a casual space for patients to perch briefly to use as a charging zone or as a fun space to sit and play with the screens provided. The colours are darker and the area zoned through circular patterned wall graphics.

"Space is a place of inspiration, full of adventure and wonder. We wanted to transport childrens' minds towards exploration, creating moments that are memorable for all the right reasons."
Wendy Short, Senior Interior Designer
"Everyone is very pleased with how it turned out, you’ve done an amazing job. My absolute favourite room is the Cardiac Ward Quiet room. OPD has a real “wow” factor when you come in, and it gives a great first impression."
Lisa Davies - Director of Leicester Hospitals Charity

Bringing comfort to parents and caregivers with home-from-home interiors

As well as the children’s spaces, there are bedrooms and lounge areas designed specifically for parents and caregivers staying at the hospital. Creating a homely atmosphere for these users was a key priority for our interiors team, achieved through warm tones and colourful artworks. Half height panelling to main walls, and a display shelf for artwork allows the room to be personalised with accessories. Our intention was to create the feeling of a hotel stay with cosy lighting and furnishings, far from the stressors of clinical reminders.

This lighting and warm colour palette begins a journey that follows through to the communal areas. These areas create a home from home, incorporating a place to relax, socialise and eat. It was key to this space to create a pleasant ambience, incorporating a floor lamp and comfortable corner sofa.

Interview rooms are sensitively designed with gentle mood lighting. For what can be the most difficult time for parents, we ensured these rooms imparted a sense of calm and comfort through soft colour and furnishings.

"It's the little touches that matter. The attention to detail in everything you see. It lets you know your family are in the best possible place, surrounded by the best possible care."
Charlotte Thornton, Interior Designer
Leicester Childrens Hospital Interiors small AFL Architects 21

Related Projects