When the U.K.’s National Health Service launched a design competition for a clinic that breaks down taboos associated with sex education, Urban Salon responded with a colour-popping palette that eschews the standard austere finishes found in typical healthcare environments.
Located inside two railway arches refurbished as commercial space in 2010, the service clinic, open seven days a week, welcomes patients in through a reception area bathed in the natural light that pours through the glass facade. A desk stretching the length of both arches delineates an informal waiting area. Patients can grab a free coffee and use WiFi at the wooden banquettes made from Junckers oiled boulevard boarding and a communal wood table surrounded by Modus’ vibrant 10° stools. Suspended above the waiting area, a pair of giant mobiles designed by artist Arnold Goron rotates forms reminiscent of reproductive organs.
The 16 consultation rooms lie beyond the reception area. En route to them, the walls are animated by artist Martin McGrath’s bold, playful graphics – including an enormous green cat. Each of the rooms, divided into a casual space for discussion and a rear examination area, features vibrant ceiling art by designer Allison Dring. Patients can fully appreciate her sexual puns and imagery when lying down.
Near the back of the clinic, two counselling rooms are outfitted with sofas, the Eameses elephant stools for children, and are dimly lit so that they feel more inviting and conducive to intimate conversations. Other amenities include a pharmacy, a teaching area, and a laboratory complete with a glass partition for passersby to sneak a peek.