An Innovation Hub at Groote Schuur Hospital, home of the first heart transplant, was conceived to enable staff to drive solutions in healthcare service delivery and continue the legacy for innovation into the 21st century.
The design concept of a maker’s workshop was developed to inspire action and constructive work, breaking the mould of a “think tank”.
The brief required potential for roll-out through Africa, while accounting for future decommission. A tight budget and constraints of the existing structure, carpeting, ceiling and lighting demanded a practical creative solution that optimises decorative and furnishing elements to create a versatile workspace including formal spaces for presentations and seminars and informal spaces for social engagement.
The colour scheme uses green associated with healthcare – in an energetic, contemporary dayglo shade. A chevron motif sparks the idea of work in progress. Pallets and packing crates form the basis for furniture. Raw, unfinished pine makes a cost-effective material and reinforces the workshop concept. Height-adjustable tables and chairs on castors are flexible to use sitting or standing and working, in various arrangements for spontaneous collaboration.
Relevant to its context of public African hospital, the interior avoids being institutional or opulent. The final Innovation Hub is a transformation into an innovative work environment fit to host healthcare workers on the frontline of an essential service in critical need of a redesign.
Photos by Micky Hoyle
UCT Faculty of Health Sciences