Embryo Clinic Assisted Reproduction is a 5,600-square-foot IVF unit in Thessaloniki, Greece, completed in September 2013. The facility, designed by local firm MALVI, was completed in four months and provides outpatient care for couples from all over Europe seeking fertility treatments in a highly specialized environment. Given the high-tech nature of the specialty, the behind-the-scenes technology, and the expertise employed, the main scope of the project was to translate those characteristics into a space where visitors and patients would be able to perceive those core principles.

The clinic is divided into two separate spaces. In the reception/visitors’ area, couples are greeted before going through the consultation and initial exam process, which is designed to follow a fluid use of lines and separations. White surfaces and furniture work as a background, allowing the focus to be on the visiting couple as the center of attention for the medical staff. The clinical and lab area retains a similar—albeit more strict—visual language, while at the same time maintaining a higher level of sterilization, varying with respect to each space. The use of specialized finishes and flat, continuous surfaces minimizes the transmission of such agents as bacteria and viruses, contributing to a pristine environment. The walls and ceiling of the operating room and laboratories are wrapped in a continuous, uninterrupted acrylic composite surface, providing the highest healthcare standards for a “clean room.”

Environmental psychology played an important role in the design decisions employed inside the rooms where patients must spend more time. The recovery room uses softer materials, in a home-like environment that minimizes traditional hospital references, in order to aid in the quick recovery of the visiting women after their treatment. Likewise, the sperm collection room includes interior materials that are unusual for such a setting; although always adhering to strict sanitary standards, they are designed to help create a relaxing space for a stressful task.