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Culturally sensitive fit-out for Cairns BreastScreen Clinic

During October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we thought it timely to share with you our work with Queensland’s most northerly BreastScreen Queensland service. Our Far North Queensland team designed the fit-out of the Cairns-based facility.

  • Client Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Services
  • Location Cairns
  • Completion 2018
  • Cost $1.29m

The Cairns service provides breast screening and assessment services to over 15,000 women from across the Far North. Frequented by Aboriginal women and clients from the Torres Strait Islands, cultural sensitivity was at the forefront of our approach to the fit-out.

Peddle Thorp Interior Designer Sara Raso prioritised strategies to help clients feel comfortable within the screening environment. “We understand that modesty and privacy are very important to all people accessing this service,” Sara explains. “To help clients feel more comfortable when waiting for clinicians, we sectioned off the waiting areas so their male friends and family could wait in a separate area.” The addition of graphic motifs over glass partitions also provide the women with greater privacy.

Peddle Thorp has a long legacy in the design of health projects, including the Mater Cancer Care Centre, Caboolture Hospital Paediatric Ward, Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital, and the Mater Townsville Rehabilitation centre. Consequently, the team is adept at sourcing all the necessary materials required for medical fit-outs. For the BreastScreen Queensland fit-out, Sara sourced a range of anti-bacterial, impenetrable fabrics and surfaces to comply with the guidelines set out by BreastScreen Queensland. Similarly, the team designed and coordinated the creation of specialised signage to highlight when rooms are ‘in use’.  

In addition to designing the fit-out for seamless workflow, Sara was also tasked with adhering to the BreastScreen Queensland brand. “It was imperative our fit-out married with the existing brand,” Sara says. “Each room is assigned a specific colour and theme, in line with the service’s style guide, so we deployed lots of distinct purples, pinks and greens to distinguish different zones.” Sara also utilised neutral colours and timbers to provide contrast throughout.

A long passage way connects the carpark and the reception area. Here, Sara came up with a creative way to welcome clients to the service. “We designed a faux skylight and mounted it to the ceiling,” Sara says. “A lightbox containing an image of the sky is backlit with LED panels to provide illumination and give the appearance of daylight peeking through the ceiling!”

To learn more about our approach to the design of healthcare projects, contact David Porgand 07 3811 9500