SYNLAB Finland

Lobby and sampling room concept
for several locations

Laboratory tests and other examinations can feel slightly intimidating. The SYNLAB locations that have been renewed according to the new concept offer a calming experience for the customers and help the personnel to carry out their duties. The aim was to create a spatial experience that is based on professionalism and high quality, as is reliable medicine. The new visual look and the functional improvements create an exceptionally comfortable work environment for medical professionals and a sense of safety for customers – relax, you are in good hands. The calming effect of the space and the situation result from the warm atmosphere, unhurried customer service and the sense of knowing you are in the right place. The signs and the clear space make the services easy-to-use and increase SYNLAB’s image as an approachable operator.

Aiming for a high-quality and warm concept
that adapts to different locations

Private laboratory and imaging services provider SYNLAB has 35 locations across Finland. The concept development project between SYNLAB and Rune & Berg Design started with developing the customer experience: the aim was to create a warm, high-quality and approachable customer experience instead of the clinical atmosphere that is typical of the health and welfare sector. The objective of the project was to design a lobby and sampling room concept that can be easily and cost-effectively implemented in different locations, regardless of their size and architectural features, and that supports the customer experience target.  “We wanted to create a professional and high-quality environment for customers and personnel. We hoped that people would find our spaces smooth and pleasant to use and, on the other hand, that the concept would not be too upscale for our brand image,” says Saana Mannerhovi, Marketing Director for SYNLAB, describing the objectives of the project.

Design drivers of the project:

  • customer-centred, comfortable space and look
  • applicable to different kinds of locations
  • in line with the SYNLAB brand and values: easy, affordable and understandable
  • considerate of different user groups, for example, the elderly
  • high-quality, warm, calming, clear and safe experience

Rune & Berg Design was responsible for the concept development of the lobby and sampling room and the graphic look. The concept covers the materials and colours of the waiting room and sampling rooms, the customer service desk and furniture, and luminaires and equipment. The team also developed separate concepts for the facade elements and signs that can be used in different locations and situations.

The new concept makes the locations more consistent and supports agile design. The concept will be implemented in several SYNLAB locations across Finland. For example, the SYNLAB clinics in Kamppi, AINOA in Tapiola, Chydenia in Kokkola and Ratina in Tampere have recently been renewed based on the new concept. “The transformation from old to modern is very apparent. The look and feel of the renewed locations is elegant, calm, smooth and high-quality,” Saana says. “You coached us well. You had a good and clear process: when is the concept checked, does it need any changes and, if so, the changes are documented in the concept handbook,” Sanna continues.

Clear and natural space and cosy lighting create a calming experience

The SYNLAB locations were transformed into a place where the patient can relax and rest assured that they are in good hands. Various practical requirements were taken into account when designing the reception and sampling rooms. For example, they had to be anti-bacterial and have sufficient lighting for the procedures and safety. However, the end result is humane and clear: soft colour palette and lighting, calming natural colours and the placement of the logo, reception desk and receptionist so that they can be seen directly from the door make the experience less clinical. The wayfinding system with wall and room signs help the users to find the right place.

The calming atmosphere is supported by natural elements, such as soft and nest-like sampling rooms, warm wood shades and nature-inspired art. The renewed premises are decorated with unique nature art made from materials such as moss that take the customer’s mind off the sampling event and any concerns it might raise in them.

Outdoor and indoor signs guide to the right place
and complement the high-quality look and feel

The concept also included exterior and interior signage. Rune & Berg’s concept guidelines make it easy to harmonise the decals, illuminated signs and stands outside each location. Thanks to the graphic elements, customers will recognise SYNLAB immediately, regardless of the location. The interior signage, such as wall signs and room numbers, help the customers navigate the space after the reception. Rune & Berg designed several versions of the exterior and interior signs, allowing each location to choose the alternative that suits its architecture the best, taking into account customer paths.

The alternative facade graphics and signage make the services easier to use and give a final touch to the high-quality, calm experience. The decals create a sense of elegance and reliability even before the customer steps in. The underlying idea of the window decals is to keep the space visible from the outside. However, the coverage they provide varies by location and by the spaces behind the decal. For example, the decals of sampling rooms provide more coverage to ensure privacy. The signage, for its part, help the customers to find their way within the space. The signs were designed with a mind to different user groups: sufficient size and high contrast ensure readability, even for elderly customers. And the toilet signs have both an icon and text, because people differ in terms of which one they find easier to understand. “The result is practical, elegant and calming – just as we planned at the beginning,” Saana concludes.