Necessarily, healthcare design needs to follow quite strict regulations and codes. This type of restriction can often lead to bland and sometimes intimidating designs, which has flow-on effects to end users and patients alike.

A recently opened start-up in the Melbourne suburb of Camberwell, Upwell Health Collective, proves that that doesn’t always have to be the case.

Upwell Health Collective is one of the first multi-disciplinary musculoskeletal healthcare services in Australia, bringing together physiotherapists, podiatrists, yoga therapists, massage therapists, exercise physiologists and Pilates instructors under one roof.

The healthcare clinic’s layout and interiors were designed by Siren Design Group with an aim to break the mould of how healthcare clinics should look and feel.


“We wanted something that was almost the complete opposite [of the usual health environment],” says Nicole Pollak, managing director at Siren Design.

“[The project] was about getting away from a sterile-type environment that healthcare often offers; getting away from that hospital feel.

According to a design statement issued by Siren, the layout in particular was intended to encourage interaction and collaboration between staff and patients.

The raw and industrial building envelope is contrasted with the insertion of natural materiality and planting, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Colour, signage, branding and materiality has been used to shift the mood and energy in the higher impact areas of the health clinic.


Upwell incorporates anti-gravity training, virtual reality rehabilitation, and real-time 3D digital modelling to help educate patients on their condition. Mobile device-based rehabilitation apps additionally allow consultants to communicate and share information.