Construction Specialties France has been manufacturing various architectural solutions specifically for construction and building layout design for over 60 years, at its production site based in Pacy-sur-Eure, in Normandy.
Its Acrovyn® range of interior products are synonymous with robustness and durability, and meet the very specific needs of healthcare buildings. The variety in the Acrovyn® range gives designers free reign to creatively develop a decorative environment that is in keeping with the identity of each architectural project.
Construction Specialties works with project management teams worldwide to offer bespoke solutions that address today’s architectural challenges. This is the approach that Construction Specialties France took on this project with Miranda and Jean-Marc Folléa’s architecture partnership.
The Folléa agency specialises in architectural projects in the healthcare sector that skilfully mix project refurbishment, new construction, urban planning and interior layout. All these areas of expertise, combined with Miranda Folléa’s experience, equip the agency with the tools it needs to navigate the modern constraints of a hospital environment. She has worked on 9 comprehensive university hospital projects, and she wrote her final dissertation on the ‘humanisation of hospitalisation’.
Folléa’s project management team is passionate about resolving architectural issues and mindful of any technical, functional and aesthetic constraints. The team was perfect for the Arpajon Hospital Accident and Emergency unit’s refurbishment and extension project, which began in 2015.
Following the closure of its intensive care unit, the Arpajon Hospital went through a process of functional analysis, as Cédric Lussiez, the hospital director explained. In an interview with the newspaper Le Parisien in October 2017, he said, ‘The closure of the resuscitation unit has allowed us to embark on some exciting new projects.’
New challenges emerged, such as improving the Accident & Emergency reception area and reducing patient waiting times, and this, among other things, formed the basis of the project to redesign the A & E unit.
The extension project also dealt with the need to increase its capacity, in the light of the planned closure of the Longjumeau, Orsay and Juvisy-sur-Orge hospitals, which will be replaced by the ultra-modern Paris-Saclay Hospital.
Staying true to the principles of functionalism, the Folléa agency’s priority is always to work within the restrictions imposed by the building’s use. Each space is developed to bring added value to the project. This success is based on paying careful attention to the requirements specified by the project manager.
This new project focused on the reception area. As the cornerstone of the facility, the reception area of the future A & E unit needed to be more effective at reducing patient waiting times and the unit’s atmosphere needed to be more welcoming for the general well-being of users.
Materials must meet the agency’s strict criteria before they can be incorporated into a Folléa project. Durability, hygiene and safety are the first essential considerations. They must also reflect the project’s architectural vision and express this clearly. The agency’s expertise, corroborated by numerous partnerships, enables it to identify materials that are best suited to the use of a building.
‘Optimisation’ was the watchword during the design phase for the A & E department’s resuscitation areas. To make patients more comfortable and make things easier for medical teams at work, they were enlarged to a footprint of between 10 and 12 square metres. Colour was used to provide a sense of greater perspective. One of the Folléa agency’s trademark techniques is an interplay of colour contrasts, using colour diagonally to add depth to the space.
To withstand, over time, all the emergency situations and medical procedures of emergencies that take place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the cubicles and the walls in high traffic areas had to be protected by a highly resilient and easy-to-clean material that would provide faultless strength against scratches and shocks from heavy moving objects. The project management team’s questions focused on the choice of material and its mechanical strength:
- What kind of coating should be used?
- Should it be protective wall panelling or would a specialised flexible wall covering be preferable?
Construction Specialties and its teams recommended installing the range’s most resistant panels given the location’s intensive use. However, to make sure that the solution offered would be the most reliable, and to remove any doubt, panels of varying thickness were provided before the work was completed to assess their performance in a real-life situation and to test their practicality.
The various materials were installed in the Arpajon Hospital wards and tests quickly proved that CS Acrovyn® panels with a thickness of 2mm were the most appropriate choice. In line with the aesthetic criteria set out in the specifications, a soft and warm ‘greige’ colour was selected for the high traffic area wall panels. This neutral but innovative tone matched the floor to create a harmonious ensemble.
The Folléa agency’s in-depth knowledge of the materials means it can work with the products more creatively than they are usually used, and adapt them to the project’s needs. This was the case when it came to the solution they selected to cover the A & E reception desk.
The structure of Acrovyn® 0.8mm wall panels means they can be installed on slightly concave or convex surfaces. The agency were aware of this property and used it on the reception desk area. It has an all-over coating of Acrovyn®: a scratch-resistant, shock-resistant, easy-to-clean and bacteriostatic material.
The eradication of germs and bacteria is a constant concern for hospital staff. To help with this critical task, the solutions created for healthcare environments are designed to be easy to clean and remain anti-bacterial, ideally bactericidal, for as long as possible.
Miranda and Jean-Marc Folléa are in favour of this feature and as a result, they selected Bio Form 40, the only bactericidal handrail on the market, for all the high traffic areas.