Starlight is a Foundation that provides facilities for Children with Terminal and Debilitating Illness. GHD Woodhead have built a long term relationship with Starlight based on our corporate social responsibility and regularly undertake fundraising ventures for the charity. With a focus on escape from the hospital environment, our Architects and Interior Designers created an everchanging environment that is a departure from the rigours of hospital life by creating a sense of ‘another world’ for young patients, within an ‘internal garden’. The space is linked by an imaginary Garden Path with all zones visible from this meandering promenade; as children and their families wander through they glimpse a variety of places. Patients have the choice of raucous play using the latest technology in the gaming room, the quiet reflection and relaxation of the art room, or playing in the backyard. The technical hub of the space, the broadcast centre, allows teenagers to explore with friends wherever they may be through the use of computers, screens, mobile phones and applications. This is a chance to forget the pressures of their daily lives and interact as is customary for persons of their age. The GHD Woodhead team worked collaboratively with the Starlight Foundation to understand and explore their future needs with the rooms constructed to allow for the imminent technological changes. Framing the glazed shopfront is a continuous, serpentine form that provides an entry portal into a different world for the children who use Starlight. This seamless sculptural form connects many different features internally and acts as a visual cue to lead the eye to different points within the room and assist with navigation as people wander along down the garden path. The translucent vine graphic designed by GHD Woodhead brings the outdoors indoors and also provides a sense of discovery with children encouraged to ‘peek between the leaves’ and see what is going on in other spaces. Materials were selected for their qualities of sustainability, durability and suitability for a medical environment, whilst contributing to the ‘internal garden’ theme. The first Starlight Express Room in Adelaide has been a great success, providing vital support in the SA Women’s & Children’s Hospital for sick children away from the hospital environment and relieving the pressure for children who have long term illness. This new approach to healthcare has been noted by the SA Commissioner for Integrated Design, providing an excellent example of how innovative design benefits people and the community. This set the bench mark design for the Starlight Foundation, which GHD Woodhead are now implementing nationally.
The following are our principles for universal design: • Equitable use: the design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities. • Flexibility in use: the design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences. • Simple and intuitive use: the design is easy to understand and use, regardless of the users experience, knowledge, language, skills, or current concentration level. • Perceptible information: the design communicates necessary information effectively, regardless of ambient conditions or the users sensory ability. • Tolerance for error: the design minimises hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions. • Low physical effort: the design can be used efficiently, comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue. • Size and space for approach and use: appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation and use regardless of users body size, posture, or mobility.