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Royal Free Hospital ICU

Altro helps to breathe new life into ICU at Royal Free Hospital

Altro Whiterock Chameleon wall panels have breathed new life and vibrancy into a refurbished fourth-floor ICU at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

Built in the 1960s, the Royal Free Hospital ICU was in urgent need of modernisation and updating. As part of the project, Tangram Architects Ltd was tasked with creating a more interesting walling effect that would appeal to both patients and ICU staff.

Tangram Director Susan Wainwright said: "Most ICU walls are painted off-white, which can be rather uninspiring and very flat. We wanted to produce a more interesting aesthetic using colour, unusual textures and shapes. In addition the walling had to meet stringent infection control regulations and be easy to clean.

"We have specified Altro Whiterock for previous projects, but this was the first time we selected the Altro Whiterock Chameleon range. There are some fantastic colours to choose from and we selected two for this project - Slipstream, which is a royal blue, and Eau de Chic, which is an olive green. We used Altro Whiterock White as well.

"Using the Altro Whiterock Chameleon has really lifted the ICU; for example the sluice area, which is usually a rather unattractive space, is now lovely to look at with the Slipstream Blue colour and stainless steel working very well together. The surface of the Altro walling is very easy to clean, and the welded joints means there is no issue with infection control, so it's perfect for all types of clinical applications.

"In the staff area of the ICU we used a darker blue Altro Whiterock Chameleon above the sink and in a diagonal across the wall. It looks superb. Other areas that feature the wall panels are buttresses in corridors, service islands in bed bays and isolation room partitions.

"There is a particularly nice feature in the ICU which really shows how Altro Whiterock Chameleon can be used to enhance something that may not traditionally be very attractive. There is a series of duct doors in the ICU, which lead to riser spaces. These are usually painted into the wall to disguise them, but these doors and their frames have now been covered with Altro Whiterock Chameleon and the effect is stunning - rather like the edge of a grand piano!

With vibrant solid colours or more natural tones in a high gloss finish, Altro Whiterock Chameleon makes a confident statement wherever it is installed. Its broad palette is perfect for creating a variety of effects to suit the mood of the application, using it either as a primary focus or as an accent to an existing wall.

Ideal for feature walls in a variety of applications, it is highly durable and provides a water-tight, wipe clean, smooth surface.

The Altro wall panels were installed by MGD. Site Operations Manager Kevin Tubby said: "We are an Altro Whiterock Premier Installer, which means we have a very good and longstanding relationship with Altro. We only install Altro Whiterock walling. It is a quality product developed over many years to meet the demands of the harshest environments while maintaining a modern look.

"The project at the Royal Free Hospital combined a combination of intricate shapes and designs in a range of contrasting colours. As the installer we are very proud of the installation and, even better, the client was delighted."

Download the Royal Free Hospital PDF