Examples in Practice
As architects specialising in healthcare projects, we have a proven track record in the design of innovative hospitals, mental health units, clinics, and associated research and education facilities.
Our aim is to enhance the lives of those who live and work in the buildings we design and that result in positive social, environmental and economic outcomes. We design environments that are protective and therapeutic, integrating art, interior design and landscape to create relaxing and healing spaces.
Our designs are structured following carefully considered zoning and human-scaled features to ensure facilities feel welcoming and finding one’s way around is intuitive. Interior designs are developed to balance clinical functions with social purpose creating spaces sensitive to the needs of the diverse range of people who use our buildings.
Access to nature has a powerful role in supporting health recovery and our designs incorporate good indoor-outdoor connections, gardens and courtyards as an integral part of the therapeutic environment.
Our most successful projects have been built around strong engagement with our clients and stakeholders. We structure our work around a series of intensive workshops to first establish the client vision and ensure that it underpins the whole design process from the earliest sketches through to construction documentation. We differentiate our services through an emphasis on clear accessible diagrams, three dimensional views, and data rich Building Information Models to guide our clients through the process.
Masterplanning means designing the foundation for an unknown future. Like game-planning in chess, masterplanning involves designing a strategy to make sure that short-term interests do not interfere with long-term goals and very long term possibilities. A good masterplan makes for good bones for future development.
There are three keystones of masterplanning:
Flexibility for inevitable change,
Expandability for increased numbers and growth,
Accessibility for diversity, disability and future health challenges.
Within this framework there are three beacons to guide us to make the best choices about the future:
Evidence based on past experience,
Research into emerging knowledge,
Awareness that care needs to be increasingly patient-centred.
Our masterplans are guided by three core principles of clinical planning, infrastructure planning and environmental planning. Our best masterplans follow strategies which support all three principles together so that all items of capital investment support improved clinical outcomes, reduce long term infrastructure costs and improve the quality of the environment.
MAAP’s respected track record, role in academic and industry research, and experience in designing exemplar patient-centred environments means we are well placed to guide our clients through the masterplanning process and make good masterplanning decisions.
MAAP recognise that the design of the built environment profoundly affects health outcomes. We support the growing demand for person-centred models of care and recovery-centred care for mental health. This has implications for the architecture of health facilities because they are too often still being designed to an old paradigm of clinical service-centred care.
We regularly engage in design-led research for clients to provide strategic advice and direction at all stages of health projects. This has helped our clients focus on the big picture, ask the right questions, and identify evidence-based solutions that integrate with policy, design and delivery.
Research and innovation at MAAP is fully integrated into our design process and led by Mungo Smith and Noam Raz drawing on their experience in research, authoring design guidance and advice to government clients in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Design guidance is intended to facilitate the realisation of primary objectives into design and built form. The involvement of practitioners in the formulation of guidance improves the quality of the guidance and outcomes. MAAP’s continuing engagement in researcher-led theory and empirical evidence gathering promises to further improve the quality of the buildings and functions that are founded on design guidance.
Design guidelines, generic briefing materials and design standards establish a minimum understanding of an architectural problem. They should be treated as a foundation: an agreed minimum standard based on past models of care and previously successful ideas.
Because of the level of abstraction required in generic guidance, guidelines should not necessarily be applied uncritically. They provide a baseline from which designers, clients and stakeholders can collaboratively develop solutions suited to the specifics of the specific site, service users, clinical service and model of care.