Heloise Urry from Graceland Architects won the Architect Category.

Polyflor South Africa’s “In Search of Excellence” competition was a phenomenal success, leaving behind a trail of quality entries of an extremely high standard. FLOORS focuses in this issue on one of the three winning projects.

Architect Category:
Heloise Urry from Graceland Architects for Mediclinic Midstream

Heloise Urry from Graceland Architects isn’t willing to take the credit alone for this project, as she believes a team effort is what resulted in the success of the final project. Graceland Architects is a medium-sized architectural practice that has evolved from VHS Architects and has been responsible for the design and implementation of hospitals and healthcare facilities not only in South Africa but also other African countries.

This expertise was sought by Mediclinic for their Midstream project. This was a specified tender and required the installation of roughly 17 000m² of flooring. “We used a wide range of Polyflor products in different areas – hospital areas, service areas, consulting rooms and public areas,” highlights Heloise. “Polyflor finishes come in a wide variety with an application for almost any situation. We achieved a homogeneous look throughout the building even though some finishes are more hardwearing for service areas and others have a softer feel for public areas. The building has a tranquil feeling with soft colours flowing in simple patterns on the floors.”

Explaining the motivation for specifying Polyflor SA products, Heloise goes on to say that the client wanted the flooring to be hardwearing, impervious and easy to clean. Above all else it had to provide high levels of hygiene to prevent the spread of bacteria. “Pearlazzo PUR was preferred for the main circulation areas,” she says. “XL PU was used in areas not frequented by patients. Wood-look vinyl varieties Forest FX and Expona were introduced into dwelling areas such as patient rooms and waiting areas to create a more welcoming, hospitable ambience. Polyflor’s range of Gradus wall protection products also offered an ideal solution for protecting walls, corners and doors.”

Heloise highlights that natural materials such as wood assist in reducing patient stress levels and anxiety. “The performance we need to get out of finishes specified in hospitals can be extreme at times but the product offering from Polyflor SA more than surpasses expectations in this regard,” she continues.

The original design brief for this project was to design and build a new multi-disciplinary hospital that looks contemporary, incorporates sustainable building elements and allows for potential future expansion to further meet the needs of the patients.

Donovan D’Oliveira, Interior Designer in the Infrastructure Department at Mediclinic Southern Africa explains that their design of the interior was based on creating an environment with a calm and comfortable atmosphere and a focus on the experience of patients during their stay at the hospital. “Ultimately we were after an interior that matched our corporate identity and brand which is practical, exacting, deliberate, orchestrated and human. We achieved this by using the products on offer by Polyflor and Gradus in a manner that creates a warm, comfortable environment where people would enjoy working and where patients could get a sense of our dedication and commitment to delivering quality care.”

“I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the entire professional team who worked tirelessly on this project to transform our vision into reality,” concludes Heloise. “A special thank you to the Polyflor SA teams for their unwavering support and commitment to excellent client service, technical support and advice.”