IT TAKES A VILLAGE

With the opening of the new Special Care Nursery at North Sydney’s Mater Hospital only weeks away, today I had a rare spare moment to pause and reflect on this project, which has been a work in progress for almost 18 months.

This was always more than a design job. It was a labour of love from the very beginning, as we took on this project within weeks of Alex giving birth to her first baby at this very hospital. Serendipitously, I fell pregnant halfway through the project and suddenly my own involvement took on much more meaning as my personal journey began to parallel that of my work. I had the chance to experience the overwhelming emotions of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood, and feel blessed every day that my baby girl was born healthy and happy in January this year. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I could not have taken her home with me the day I was discharged from hospital.  

Work in progress and concept research

Work in progress and concept research

The Friends of The Mater Foundation have generously funded the Special Care Nursery, allowing our vision of creating the most perfectly nurturing, reassuring and encouraging space for parents experiencing deep emotions and facing unimaginable stress, come to life.

Since it’s conception we wanted to create a truly unique space that offered a sense of comfort and protection, which is why we invited French illustrator Catherine Cordasco to join us on our journey.

Catherine Cordasco is a surface pattern illustrator. She uses watercolours to create emotion and graphic life through her images and artistic application.

Catherine Cordasco is a surface pattern illustrator. She uses watercolours to create emotion and graphic life through her images and artistic application.

Her mature yet innocent watercolours struck an emotional chord in all of us. In collaboration with Catherine we developed an exclusive identity for the Special Care Nursery, literally illustrating the nurturing environment we had envisaged, yet all the while remaining visually efficient and practical for staff and visitors alike. 

The new floor being laid out.

The new floor being laid out.

The Special Care Nursery project became our AKD ‘baby’ and we can't wait to see it come to life in a few short weeks and continue to grow, develop and nurture the babies and parents as we intended, until they are strong enough to spread their wings and fly . . .

And whilst we can’t reveal the interior design until the official launch on 1 June, we feel like proud new parents to be able to show off these sneak peek behind the scenes images.

A glimpse of a ‘nest’ nearing completion.

A glimpse of a ‘nest’ nearing completion.

Alex documenting construction and the reception desk being installed.

Alex documenting construction and the reception desk being installed.

Image 2 via Catherine Cordasco / All other images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design