Work in Progress: St Benedict’s Hospice
Earlier this year we were asked to consider signs and wayfinding for St Benedict’s Hospice in Sunderland, which was relocating to a brand new site complete with sea view at Ryhope. The £12m project includes 14 in-patient beds, day care, a specialist lymphoedema unit and outpatient services, as well as an education centre and community nursing teams.
Working closely with P+HS Architects and the NHS staff who were going to be based there, we quickly established that as with other specialist and palliative care health projects we have been involved with, a non-institutional approach was required, a first for South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust . Sensitive consideration has been given to materials, colours and language to tie in with the projects’ “boutique hotel” philosophy, while maintaining an appropriate level of signing for a healthcare facility.
Externally, colours and materials have been selected to fit with the exterior of the building and the surrounding landscape. Information is presented in a clear concise format following the principles outlined in the NHS Wayfinding document and the Sign Design Guide. The NHS typeface Frutiger has been retained.
We created a special design for window manifestations which are required to meet with building regulations. The client was very keen on something other than the standard dots, squares or stripes, especially in the day care and bedroom areas.
Internal signs follow a softer format and pick up on the colours used in the interior palette. The scale of the signs are determined by the spaces they fit into, achieving a delicate balance between providing the right information at the right place, without sign overload or very large signs in small spaces as can happen at some healthcare sites. The use of Frutiger as the main typeface follows through from the external signs. Statutory notices are scaled to match the door signs.