San-Ai Clinic is a rehabiliation facility that recently undertook a renovation and expansion, almost doubling its usable space for rehabilitation activities.
Purposely designed free of elaborate appointments, the space features open spaces, high ceilings, and no partitions—creating a modern, friendly environment. The space is divided into 12 functional areas and patient therapy is not limited to any one space; patients can move from area to area in circuit-training fashion.
The project challenge was to offset the clinical, drab feeling of white walls and medical equipment and alleviate the harshness and drudgery of physical therapy. Designer Maya Nakamuta employed color, light, and simple, playful graphics to create a space that instills “the will to continue the struggle.” Dynamic colors were used to modulate patients’ moods. Dark blue walls in the reception area evoke a sense of reliability and are a calming counterpoint to the brighter colors within. Light blue was used to create a relaxing atmosphere in the examination area. Chartreuse and orange were used in the rehabilitation rooms to exude a feeling of healthfulness and energy.
Wayfinding through the open physical therapy areas is provided via a system of simple vinyl letters and room numbers applied directly to the painted walls. Whimsical details like a painted clock and huge message boards “attached” to the wall with painted pushpins and paper clips draw smiles from patients and, momentarily at least, distract them from the business at hand.
MAEDA Architects (architectural design)
MED, Canvas (vinyl, sign installation)