The child friendly interior of the MDCK
MDCK is the first child abuse multidisciplinary centre located in Spaarne Gasthuis hospital. It’s a help centre where all rescuers are brought together under one roof. When a child is faced with a traumatic experience, such as maltreatment or abuse, it has to go through a daunting process: unpleasant examinations and treatments at the hospital, conversations with police, justice, psychiatrists and youth care. The child needs to tell its story repeatedly. Thanks to the MDCK, this process has now become unnecessary. The only thing that was still missing was a child friendly interior and we felt honoured that they contacted us to take care of the design. We decided to opt for an abstract forest theme. This forest surrounds you with protective trees and it tickles your imagination (fairytale forest). The bear (the MDCK mascot), could live in this forest. On top of that, the forest gives you the feeling of freedom which only nature can provide.
The key element of the waiting room is privacy. We realised this by designing little houses where parents and children can withdraw without being confronted with other parents in the waiting room. The high- backed chairs and walls create an intimate and safe environment. For the windows, we designed a pattern with trees to avoid being overlooked. But we did make sure that daylight can enter, because daylight has a major impact on your mood. And off course we provide plenty of play elements so the children can be entertained.
In the interrogation room, a balance needs to be found between rest and play. Sometimes children need distraction, but at other times there shouldn’t be any distraction at all. We solved this with a tailor-made solution. We designed a magnetic dollhouse with lots of magnetic pieces such as furniture, household items, figures and animals. This house and its accessories can be helpful for children to tell their stories. At those times when there can’t be any distraction at all, these loose parts can be stored away. We also created a seating area for this room where children can sit, lounge or play. This furniture can also be used for storing toys.
The centre also has two family rooms where conversations with parents take place. We felt it was very important to create a warm and homely setting in these rooms. Both rooms have different seating arrangements, so you can choose one depending on the situation. One room has a round dinner table with a warm-coloured carpet. By adding homely products such as a nice lamp, warm-coloured upholstery, art and a plant, we’ve created an intimate atmosphere. The colour scheme in this room consists of natural and earthy tones. The other family room we decorated contains a couch and two armchairs. With this more comfortable type of furniture, we’ve created a relaxing and informal atmosphere. The colour palette used in this room is pastel purple.