Altro surfaces bring colour to children's hospice


Bright and bold wall coverings used in refurbishment of Haven House

Bright and bold wall coverings have been used to refurbish Haven House Children’s Hospice in Woodford Green, Essex.

Complete with rainbow staircases and cleverly-colour-zoned areas; the makeover, using Altro products, has overhauled the interior at the palliative care facility.

Family and community support manager, Judi Porter, said: “For the children at Haven House; colours, shapes, textures, light and other sensory stimuli make a very positive impact and are so important for overall wellbeing.

“Our aim is to give babies, children and young people the best-possible life and we knew that by bringing more colour to Haven House we could significantly improve their quality of life.

“Above all, Haven House interiors need to be hardwearing and functional, because a lot of areas are clinical spaces. Altro was recommended to us by Great Ormond Street Hospital, as they have the most-wonderful colourful floors and walls.”

The rainbow staircase has been created from different colours of Altro Suprema and Altro Walkway 20 safety flooring.

“Our aim was to create colour zoning in specific spaces,” said Porter.

“Of course, we couldn’t use bright colour everywhere, because some of our children are sensitive to powerful shades, so we had to strike a balance.

“We decided to focus on the five brand colours within our logo; orange, green, yellow, purple and blue, using matching shades of flooring and walling in key areas within the building to provide pockets of colour. It’s very effective and really pops.”

The entrance has a green theme, provided by new Altro Orchestra smooth flooring in the shade Jungle and Altro Whiterock Chameleon walling in Hawaiian Palm.

Altro Orchestra has also been fitted in the shade Trumpet in the family room, which transforms into a sensory room via a removable partition; and in the activity room in the shade, Jungle. This ties in with the principles of biophilia – bringing the outside in and harnessing the healing powers of nature.

Continuing this theme, Altro Wood Safety flooring in Bleached Oak has been fitted in meeting rooms, cafe areas, all corridors, and in bedrooms, creating a homely, non-clinical feel.

On the entire first floor, the product has been fitted with Altro acoustic underlay to reduce sound levels.

“There is a real warmth about this wood-effect flooring, it looks lovely — something you would want in your own home and it’s not clinical at all,” said Porter.

“The acoustic underlay on the first floor has really helped to bring the noise levels down, and this significantly improves the wellbeing of both staff and children.”

The orange-themed changing room has been fitted with Altro Whiterock Satins hygienic wall sheet in the shade Bergamot, with Altro Suprema safety flooring in Tangerine.

The rainbow staircase is the centrepiece of the revamp

The rainbow staircase is the centrepiece of the revamp

“This is such a striking room. The colours are superb and the juicy orange combination of flooring and walling is beautiful,” said Porter.

To create the yellow theme in the waiting area, the design team chose Altro Whiterock Chameleon in the shade Bee, and Altro Suprema flooring in the shade Taxi Cab.

“The installers fitted a very-clever overlap between the walling and flooring to minimise the joint and make it flush,” said Porter.

“This is also great for infection prevention and control because the dirt has nowhere to hide.”

The disabled toilet has a purple theme, with Altro Whiterock Satins on the walls in the shade Violal and Altro Walkway 20 safety flooring in the shade Silk. The blue areas have Altro Whiterock Chameleon wall sheet in Ocean Blue and Altro Walkway 20 safety flooring in Lupin.

“Visual stimulation is very important for the children at Haven House, and we used Altro Whiterock Digiclad walling to create some wonderful water-themed artwork in both the hydrotherapy bathroom and teenagers’ en-suite”, said Porter.

“The aim was to make these rooms look colourful and less clinical, but the artwork also needed to be permanent, hygienic and hard wearing.”

In the hydrotherapy bathroom and ensuites, Altro Pisces safety flooring was also fitted in the shade Jellyfish.

“Safety underfoot in wet areas is vital, for both staff and children, and Altro Pisces has been specifically created for this need,” Porter said.

“We can have total confidence that everyone is secure, whether they are wearing shoes or have bare feet, and the flooring looks great too.”

Haven House director of care, Eileen White, added: “The new bright and colourful interior has had such a profound effect in so many ways, which is thrilling for us all because it’s exactly what we wanted to achieve.

“The wonderful colours have helped us to create an uplifting environment for staff and young people alike.

“The colour zones have enabled us to make positive experiences and happy memories, and the calming, bleached wood effect flooring reminds me of driftwood.

“Coupled with the Altro Digiclad tropical underwater wildlife and beach scenes, the imagination takes you to a warm, relaxing shoreline.”

“On a more-practical note, the floors and walls look as fresh and vibrant as when they were first fitted and are very easy to clean and take care of.

“We are using a steam cleaning system which is keeping the floors looking bright and fresh.”

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