- Article by Charlotte Huston
Located in North Hobart, Tasmania, New Town Medical Suite by Cumulus Studio is a peaceful psychologist’s office housed within a Heritage-listed building.
Behind a heritage streetscape, this office fit-out by the Tasmanian-based practice has been designed to reflect the ways a psychologist works.
Completed this year, New Town Medical Suite was led by a design team consisting of Cumulus interior designer Lucy Watts, senior architect Andrew Grimsdale, and designer Ronja Scherer.
Refined but informal, New Town Medical Suite is an honest and open space that aims to create an “oasis of calm” within this busy Hobart suburb.
To bring the outside in, skylights and windows were used to softly light up the space and avoid dark corners, which Cumulus says was a “priority.”
“This is always more challenging in an existing building, especially one that’s heritage-listed. We made use of skylights and highlight windows to create a bright, airy space, with extra lighting where needed to avoid dark corners.
“Our design has made the space quiet, but not silent. Soft materials like full-length curtains and carpets muffle conversations without erasing the comfort of background noise. With a muted colour palette and soft curved edges, it’s a space that feels welcoming for clients. And a place where psychologists would want to come to work,” adds the design practice.
This biophilic theme was further developed by including timber panelling and a muted green colour palette, which is accentuated by a plethora of indoor greenery to evoke an uplifted sense of wellbeing.
“Timber brings a natural warmth and informality to these offices, with Tasmanian oak that’ll wear in, not out,” says Cumulus about their design approach.
“Different applications guide visitors through the space. Timber battens at reception create a varied texture of light and shade. Timber also wraps around threshold spaces, transitioning to solid panelling in the consulting rooms and minimal treatment in the back of house space.
“Plants add to the feeling of wellbeing. They also gave us a hand making an accessible feature that fit the aesthetic, like a planter box that acts as a handrail. It becomes a detail both soothing and welcoming, not unlike the space itself.”
While this soothing space is completely new to this heritage context, Cumulus has ensured New Town Medical Suite never appears out of place through considered and sensitive design choices.
Primed for both clients and psychologists, this office fit-out is dutifully ready to house its occupants in a space abundant with sophisticated calm.
Photography by Jesse Hunniford.
Led by Kylee Scott, Todd Henderson, Peter Walker and Keith Westbrook, Cumulus Studio is based out of Tasmania.
Last year, the practice was featured on ADR for their work on a new alpine visitor centre in the Central Highlands region of Tasmania, which won the Alan C Walker Award for Public Architecture at the 2021 Tasmanian Architecture Awards