Project spotlight: custom art laminate panels for the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.

4 min readJan 28, 2018


For decades, hospitals have used artwork as a way to create positive environments for patients, volunteers and staff.

Although undoubtedly improving the overall look of hospitals, this incorporation isn’t purely aesthetic, with its inclusion having proven benefits for well being and mental health.

AusMed Education, when discussing the academically proven pluses to art in health care facilities, said

“Although art in itself is quite personal, intrinsic benefits such as aesthetic pleasure can actually lead to a stimulation of social connectedness where sharing and discussion around one’s experience is created. It is these effects which greatly enrich individuals’ lives and create social bonds allowing individuals to express common values and community identity.”

So, when the new Royal Adelaide Hospital was being planned, artwork was firmly integrated in the plans.

Art by Annalise Rees pressed to laminate panels at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital

SteedForm were fortunate enough to, along side a plethora of other brilliant teams and artists, be involved in the manufacturing of large laminate panels of custom artwork for the nRAH.

It is inspiring to know that we not only helped to produced high quality products, but also products that improve the environment of a place home to a range of difficult circumstances.

“A hospital within a park — a park within a hospital”

The artwork selected to adorn the walls of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital celebrates South Australia’s ‘unique landscape and dynamic cultural history, creating a welcome, attractive place of healing.’

According to Celsus

“The Royal Adelaide Hospital uses the latest research into arts in health in the design of the hospital itself, with artworks large and small carefully woven through its architecture and design.”

Meet the Artist: Annalise Rees

One of the artists whose work we pressed to laminate panels is Annalise Rees.

Sketches by Annalise Rees, drawn during the process of drafting works for the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Sketches courtesy: Annalise Rees

Annalise is an accomplished artist with ‘an interest in process and materials, exploring ideas about place and identity.’

In 2012 she registered her interest in being selected as a commissioned artist for the nRAH.

She completed a series of drawings by hand (seen above) that were later transferred into a digital format. From the digital format the images were then composed and integrated into architectural CAD drawings — then provided to Laminex for printing onto the laminate.

Annalise says she is ‘grateful to have been selected to show [her] work in such a prominent public building.’

‘Having my drawings on display in the hospital celebrating the many things I hold dear and love about my home state of South Australia makes me very proud.’

‘I do hope they brighten people’s experience of the spaces and their visit to the hospital,’ she said.

SteedForm’s involvement

From paper to print. Sketch courtesy of Annalise Rees.

This was a new and exciting project for the SteedForm team.

To break it down, and see exactly what we did, the process (put simply) went as follows —

  • Annalise finalizes sketches to be printed
  • Sketches are sent to Laminex
  • Laminex prints the sketches onto rolls of laminate
  • The rolls of laminate arrive at the SteedForm factory
  • SteedForm press the rolls of laminate to fire retardant MDF (medium-density fibreboard)
  • The panels of laminate, with the art pressed to each one, are sent to the nRAH to be installed by IJF, alongside other contractors.

Why Laminex laminate was the surface used

The laminate that the art was printed onto is Laminex in colour Parchment (pictured below).

Laminex laminate in Parchment. Swatch courtesty of Laminex.

So why Laminex?

There are a lot of great things about Laminex laminate — but the thing that makes it so perfect for a hospital space is its Protec+ technology.

Protec+ is “an innovative antimicrobial surface that inhbits the growth of bacteria and fungus…giving protection against microbes in…commercial applications.’”

Quite obviously, hygiene and clean-ability are a major priority when selecting surfaces for a hospital. Laminex, with its Protec+, means the surface is committed to decreasing health hazards caused by poor cleanliness.

Protec+ is built in to the surface, meaning it won’t ‘wash off or leach out’ over time, making it a long-lasting, high-performing surface.