The Panelarium, Himeji

Designed by: KTX archiLAB
For client: Matsubara Clinic Floor area: 145.00 M² Year of completion: 2018
Submitted for: Healthcare Centre of the Year

Public Score
3.98 Function
4.04 Innovation
4.20 Creativity
0 Panels At Work Main Picture
© Stirling Elmendorf

Panels at Work

About the Project

Only few doctors around the world are certified to operate the robotic surgeries using the da Vinci systems, Dr. Matsubara is one of the few. The international Award-Winning Urology surgeon is establishing his own new urology clinic in Himeji City. However, the Japanese Law forbid the doctors to use advertisements, so it was then decided to use the space design as a message to reflect his advance. Using the power of Image rather than words. The space should reflect the state-of-art high-tech medical advance.
The Panelarium design was inspired from the digital world. The binary system components 0 and 1 were interpolated in the white space and embodied by panels that jut out from the walls and ceiling. The floor follows also the same design aspect. The Panels although their random appearance are functionals, they become signs, chairs, counter tables, partitions, bookshelves and even door handles. Yet, the most important function is the eye-blinders in the inner waiting room. Urology patients prefer to maintain their privacy when it comes to which kind of examination they are receiving, but the limited space does not allow to make isolated compartments, the panels are an alternative response securing a minimum privacy for the patients, providing them with a feeling of safety during their waiting time.

What’s unique about it

All surfaces of the space were finished in white generating a pure and clean atmosphere. A tribute to hygiene acting as a three-dimensional canvas, on which functional, yet exquisite, panels punctuate the monotony. The panels are white except for one side, the opposite to the surface they are mounted-on, which is either black or a back-lit translucent glass. The composition of the panels on the walls, ceiling, and floor obeys observes two rules: the balance and the function.
The deepest horizontal panels are 480mm and serve as benches in the special waiting space. Next to them less deeper panels turned into mini counters furnished in white chairs, where the patients can use electronic tablets explaining the medical procedures. Other vertical panels offer some privacy to the waiting patients by covering their faces on both right and left sides. On the reception counter and in the special waiting room panels have also been used a as a base for the glass showcase. Some of the panels mounted on the ceiling are used to support the signs showing the room function, these signs are duplicated with black pictograms on the doors. The surface of the door is white, only the depth is black and the handles which are also made in the same spirit of the panels.
The playfulness of the panels and their sharpness conjugated to their simplicity and the brightness of the space implements a straight forward image of the cutting-edge medical services provided in the clinic.

1 Reception And Waiting
© Stirling Elmendorf

Reception and Waiting

2 Reception Counter
© Stirling Elmendorf

reception counter

3 Two Waiting Spaces
© Stirling Elmendorf

Two waiting spaces

4 Inner Waiting
© Stirling Elmendorf

Inner waiting room

5 Davinci System Showcase
© Stirling Elmendorf

daVinci system showcase

6 Toilet
© Stirling Elmendorf


7 Reception Waiting
© Stirling Elmendorf

Reception waiting space

8 Panels
© Stirling Elmendorf


Location of project:
Matsuya Art Works / KTX archiLAB

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