The origins of Gaius bathrooms
The planning of the Gaius Original bathroom began in 1996, in conjunction with the renovation and construction of the Puotila senior home. Development was carried out in collaboration with the Finnish Association for the Welfare of Older People (Vanhustyön keskusliitto), the Gaius Foundation, and architects Liisa and Markku Sievänen and Kirsi Pesola. The solution was completed in 1998 and launched in 1999.
The elegant and functional Gaius Original optimises the use of floor space efficiently. The bathroom and its furnishings were designed to meet the needs of both users and care personnel, on the basis of their experiences.
The starting point in the development of the Gaius Hospital solution was a survey on sanitary facilities, ordered by the City of Helsinki and carried out by the Sotera Institute, a research unit operating within the Department of Architecture at Aalto University.
The planning guidelines presented in the final survey report were based on user feedback from central hospitals, as well as on tests of model facilities. The survey examined how well suited the model facilities were for independent use by patients and for use with one or two assistants.
The measurements of the facilities and the functionality of the equipment were examined with the use of a walker, wheelchair, and auxiliary lifting and moving equipment in mind. Key functions examined included moving in the facilities, using the toilet, washbasin and shower, and using a shower bed.
The core product development team consisted of Juha Kauko and Teppo Vienamo from Muodos Oy, responsible for industrial design, and Seppo Liimatainen and Kalle Lampela from Etteplan Oyj, responsible for technical execution and strength calculations. The project was supervised by Pirjo Sipiläinen and Maarit Suokonautio from the Sotera Institute. Approximately 30 specialists from 19 companies were involved in the development of the various products.
Thanks to careful development, the Gaius Hospital bathroom is suitable for people needing a great deal of assistance in hospitals, health centres and residential care homes.
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