Maddox Fit, by Hecker Guthrie. Image by Shannon McGrath

The Creation of Human-Centric Spaces

  •   9 March 2022

After the last two years, and as we look to the future, surely wellness is the most integral aspect of our lives today. In the 2022 INDE.Awards, The Health and Wellbeing Space showcases those places and spaces that enhance the ideas of caring for ourselves and the community through projects that are not only beautiful and practical but help sustain our bodies and minds – whether that is a hospital or medical practice, gym or wellness centre, a yoga studio or retreat or a place for mindfulness.

Through fine design, The Health and Wellbeing Space category defines best practice in those places that cater for all aspects of wellness. Projects entered in The Health and Wellbeing Space are ever evolving but always emphasise the human experience.

The 2022 INDE.Awards jury will be assessing entries to this category on multiple levels – how a project demonstrates advancement in architecture and/or design, on originality, functionality, how it incorporates sustainability initiatives and innovation through process and solution, thinking and practice. Of course, the design will be distinctive and imaginative but it will also be appropriate to site, form, space, materiality and technology.

Green Massage, by Vermilion Zhou Design Group. Image by Yunpu Cai

As a leader in developing products that truly connect to the wellbeing of the people that use them, category partner Porter’s Paints have built a globally-recognised brand off design that considers the end user.

“Porter’s Paints combines a passion for creating colour, the latest in paint technology and the finest raw materials to make finishes with beauty, quality and longevity,” notes Melanie Stevenson, Brand Manager of Porter’s Paints.  “Innovation and a commitment to quality have both played a part in the development of our range of paints, from very low VOC interior and exterior wall paints, to cutting edge mineral silicate paints and stains.”

“We see the Health & Wellbeing Space as the perfect category that talks to low emission coatings, breathable long-life finishes for masonry, and the importance of colour in design, particularly our signature elements of richness, earthiness, depth and complexity that we weave into our palette,” says Stevenson.

1R Australia, by Foolscap Studio. Image by Willem-Dirk du Toit

What stands out in the Health and Wellbeing space, perhaps more than any other category, is how diverse the shortlisted projects are. From innovative, advanced healthcare spaces, to tactile yoga studios, sleek gyms and even outdoor spaces, the category shows the changing landscape of the sector – particularly across the region. Looking back at just 2020 alone, we saw highly futuristic spaces with stainless steel and an elevation on industrial aesthetics, with Hecker Guthrie and Foolscap Studio offering their own takes on fitness and it’s increasingly prevalent and performative role across social media with Maddox Fit and 1R Australia respectively. Green Massage, by Vermilion Zhou Design Group went less futuristic and more intergalactic with their wellness space, offering an elegant and transient customer journey through the different relaxation zones.

Dental Clinic. A Brave New World, by Esoteriko with Jess Mason. Image by Dave Wheeler

The winning project for 2021, Warren and Mahoney’s MacMurray Medical Centre, along with shortlister Dental Clinic. A Brave New World. by Esoteriko with Jess Mason, served as an ode to more holistic and patient-focused health experiences, where comfort, biophilia and natural light inverts our typical vernaculars for healthcare into something more luxurious and less anxiety-inducing.

Head of Design of Warren and Mahoney’s Melbourne Studio, Denisa Syroya, reflects on their winning project:

“Exemplar projects in health and wellbeing have successfully transitioned from sterile treatment environments to welcoming destinations that deliver a holistic, human-centric experience.  And increasingly, de-institutionalised centres – like the new MacMurray Medical Centre in Auckland – are inspired by salutogenic design principles, which focus on creating spaces where nature and technology can partner to encourage and promote health, rather than simply treating disease.

The MacMurray Medical Centre provides a calming, comfortable space that evokes a sense of being at home and creates a realm which reduces patients’ anxiety through familiar design hues.”

MacMurray Medical Centre, by Warren and Mahoney. Image by Jono Parker

Looking back further, past winning projects have included The Bendigo Hospital, a world-class healthcare facility located in regional Victoria designed by Silver Thomas Hanley with Bates Smart; The Punmu and Parnngurr Aborginal Health Clinic by Kaunitz Yeung Architecture, two primary health clinics in the Martu Aboriginal communities of Punmu and Parnngurr, projects can be designed for a provincial town or the outback; and Gandel Wing, Cabrini Malvern by Bates Smart that pushed the boundaries in complete-care provision with every facility and great style.

Punmu & Parnngurr Aboriginal Health Clinics, by Kaunitz Yeung Architecture. Image by Brett Boardman

Fundamental when designing a project for the health and wellbeing sector is choosing the right products and those with sustainable credentials. As partner of The Health and Wellbeing Space Porter’s Paints is renowned for its outstanding range of colours and quality paints and wallpapers. Established in 1982, Porter’s Paints is also environmentally aware offering low VOC paints, the company also sources ethically and is a founding partner of PaintBack® a national waste paint collection and treatment scheme for left over paints and packaging.

“We’re excited to see projects that are not only designed to nurture and sustain human bodies and minds – but nurture and sustain the very buildings and their environments themselves,” reflects Stevenson. “Consider the effects of colour and textures on humans – colour can create restful, tranquil and safe spaces, or it can enliven and stimulate. The medium by which these colours are delivered, surface coatings, protect and enhance the built environment and the community.”

Gandel Wing, Cabrini Malvern, by Bates Smart. Image by Peter Clarke

With wellness uppermost in our mind, the projects in The Health and Wellbeing Space category represents the very best design to complement our lives whether we are just going about our daily business or seeking to find respite.

So now is the time to enter your project into The Health and Wellbeing category at the 2022 INDE.Awards. This is the opportunity to showcase your work, highlight your practice and gain recognition throughout our Indo-Pacific region and indeed the globe.


Entries to the 2022 INDE.Awards close on 31/03/2022 at 23:59 AEDT. Entries can be started, modified and submitted here and should be entered according to the Awards’ category criteria.

The Health and Wellbeing Space category is proudly partnered by Porter’s Paints.