Jun 18, 2021

Who says a hospital has to feel like a hospital? That was the question the design team working on the Acute Services Block at the Ulster Hospital in Belfast asked when crafting a lighting concept for the 32,000-sq meter (345,000-sq ft) space. The result is a design that borrows more from boutique hotels and flagship offices than a typical hospital. With wireless Bluetooth control, the lighting installation (ERCO) was carefully planned by Cundall, a building services consultancy, to complement the architecture and highlight the patient-centric experience.

Using texture, hierarchy and visual interest, Cundall emphasized the walls and their distinctive scalloping to create the feeling of a journey through the building. A variation in color temperature creates a subtle feeling of movement across the building as wards, clinical rooms and circulation spaces feature LEDs with a cool color temperature of 4000K, while the restaurant features a warm and inviting white at 3000K.

A Patient’s Journey
Photos: Zumtobel

A Bluetooth system allows sensors to monitor “out of bed” movement in patient rooms and alerts nurses when and if a patient has left their bed.

A Patient's Journey
Photos: Zumtobel

Linear recessed luminaires create a feeling of movement in the hallways while also minimizing glare, which can trigger reactions in susceptible patients.

A Patient's Journey
Photos: Zumtobel

“The project was highly versatile, with many different areas and with different requirements,” says lighting designer, Chris McAnearney (Cundall) of why Bluetooth fit so well into the lighting scheme. The lighting can also be controlled by a smartphone or tablet app using the Bluetooth Low Energy wireless standard.

A Patient's Journey
Photos: Zumtobel

A “track and spot” approach brings pools of light to café tables to create a more soothing environment.

A Patient's Journey
Photos: Zumtobel

Castor bollard luminaires guide visitors, staff and patients safely along granite paths to the entrance of the building.