Allergy Clinic

Custom furniture helps create a unique user experience for Auckland Allergy Clinic patients.

Clinic design concept

Auckland Allergy and Eczema Clinic aims to provide the very best experience for its clients from start to finish. The sleek new facility focuses on the user experience as the primary design motivation in its new purpose designed facilities in Ponsonby, Auckland. This encompasses not only physical comfort, but also visual appeal and ease of use. The unique requirements for this space meant that many pieces needed to be custom made.

Built with the patient in mind

The reception and waiting area is designed to double as a work space. Some patients may be required to spend up to 3 hours under observation during allergy challenge testing. Providing portable working height tables and ergonomic seating enables patients to comfortably continue with their daily work if required.

In the examination rooms, patients are treated to custom designed and made examination beds. The only beds readily available in the market were standard models with steel frames and hard edges. The bespoke models designed especially for the clinic patients are easier on the eye and the body, with wooden frames and comfy cushioning which is also hypoallergenic.

The beds and sofas throughout the clinic are made to resuscitation standard with extra support added via foam density and webbing. This enables them to stand up to the required pressure should resuscitation be needed in the case of anaphylaxis.

Fabrics used are all hypoallergenic, repel dust and dirt, and are easy to clean - an important consideration for certain types of allergies. Yet the fabric selected is still comfortable and soft to the touch.

Design aesthetic: “Japinavian”

The design aesthetic is one of deliberate simplicity. One of the partners involved favoured Scandinavian design, the other Japanese. The resulting compromise, jokingly described by the designer as "Japinavian”, has a clean, timeless appeal. The custom privacy screens in examination rooms echo traditional Japanese screens. The detailing in the furniture highlights natural materials, such as the oak ribbon trim on the counter. The colour palette is natural, muted and calming.

Rising to the challenges

One of the main constraints was the tight timeframe for completing the project. All parties stepped up and brainstormed ways to address this, resulting in a very efficient and rapid delivery.

The budget also required several reviews and one of the main challenges was around how to use the high quality finishes desired in the most economical way. The response was to express these in the detailing when possible via trims and veneers.

A community effort

The clinic is a credit to a community of contributors that assisted in achieving a result which its patients and staff are “thrilled with.” Friends and colleagues provided services or recommended trusted partners. The architectural designer sees the finished clinic as “a family effort.’ PLN Group are proud to have been a part of the realisation of this vision.


Architectural Design: Ben Wrightson

Furniture Design - Examination beds, sofas, work/side tables: Richard Heath and design team, PLN Group

Project management: Axiom Projects

Fabrics: Warwick Fabrics

Photography: Catherine Hugo

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