Healthcare design as it should be


Although the Dubai Mall Medical Centre DMMC has been there for a few years, this week was my first visit. As an architect and interior designer, I intuitively tend to assess all the spaces I visit.

Usually I keep my thoughts to myself, but this space made me feel like sharing my experience to show how exquisite design and its perfect implementation could lead to great satisfaction.

My experience started by going through the organic forms, soft edges and different textures along with the subtle, yet not boring colour palette. You instantly feel the luxury, delicacy, care and calmness.


That fine concoction seamlessly evokes trust to the healthcare service one is about to receive. The atmosphere is exceptionally well adjusted to put you in the right mood of a clinic and free you from external stresses and inhibitions.

It was not a surprise when I read what the senior lead designer at NBBJ, Karen Eskandari explained in an interview with Interior Design magazine: “The team prepared a mood video exploring the sensory aspects of a visit to the medical centre. What would it smell like? How would a door handle feel?”

Walking into the double height reception area you see the solid walls in different textures and various colour shades contrasted by the ceiling high sheer curtains creating an elegant yet sleek balance with a minimalist touch. The sheer curtains divide the large space and add some privacy for the smaller cosy areas creating a dynamic interior.

According to Eskandari, she said: “Water was our foundation of luxury. Water possesses a quality of universal timelessness. It transcends cultural and geographic boundaries and [also] enhances the human experience.”

Therefore the colour scheme is very relaxing reflecting the nature by the sea using mainly taupe, nacre cream, white and grey, together with shades of sea blue and silver-blue.

The use of marble flooring and free form carpet insets, enhances the natural feeling of both water and desert, while separating different seating areas of the reception. Water ripples were also reflected on the walls both in prints as well as three dimensional CNC-milled MDF wall panels. The curves are also reflected in the curtain rail in the ceiling with embedded LED lights.

The furniture layout accentuates the water concept and creates more privacy for the different waiting areas. Furniture used in the waiting areas is carefully selected in different shapes, colours and textures. Soft edged sofas and ottomans enclose tables inspired by Frank Gehry further create a sleek interior.

The subtle acoustical environment that is free from any echoes or loud noises cannot go unnoticed, yet it is alive and reassuring, thanks to the use of faint white noise.

Whereas the ultimate experience wouldn’t have been complete without the appropriate smell, a scent infusing system is used to diffuse a soothing neutral smell in the air for extra relaxation.

Passing through the corridor for the examination rooms you cannot miss the very high doors with their unusual stainless detailing along with the unique signage and skirting.

This neat and sharp detailing reflects professionalism and builds customer confidence in the service provided at the right time of your medical experience. The minimal examination rooms with the sleek cabinet detailing and the Ingo Maurer Light units are both securing and soothing.

Last but not least, is the clinic’s management and the team as everyone is welcoming, helpful and smiley from the moment you enter the premises with great attention to detail, cleanliness and hygiene. The unique thing about the DMMC design is that it creates a complete sensual experience for each visitor.

You can even have coffee or grab a quick bite at the coffee shop inside. Healthcare is not only about medical assessment and prescriptions; it is also about the relationship and the trust between the patient and the caregiver. Therefore, it’s important to be patient-oriented and to create the right experience and environment with a high focus on hospitality.

Certainly this medical centre created a new benchmark for healthcare facilities probably not in the Middle East alone, but throughout the whole world.

Interior design is all about creating experiences that shape our lives!

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