Umberto I Child Neuropsychiatry: Devoto Design participates in the restyling

The first reception clinic of the Child Neuropsychiatry department of the Umberto I Hospital in Rome was refurbished thanks to a donation by the Can Yaman for Children association. Devoto Design was thrilled to be part of the project and carried out the restyling.


GETTING TO KNOW the activities and initiatives of the association Can Yaman For Children was a nice discovery, and for this, we thank our friend Professor Andrea Grimaldi who involved us in this project. We have always done what we do hoping to make the places we furnish more pleasant and – in our small way – to improve people’s lives. Doing it here, using colours and their power on people’s positive emotions, hoping that these emotions can be transferred to the little patients really made our day! (Marianna Devoto, CCO and CMO)


It was indeed our friend Professor Andrea Grimaldi, PhD Interior Architecture at Sapienza Università di Roma, who developed the restyling of the first reception clinic of the Child Neuropsychiatry department of the Umberto I Hospital in Rome, department entitled to Professor Giovanni Bollea, father of the Child Neuropsychiatry and world-renowned scientist.

The main goal of this refurbishment project was “turning a moment of distress for the little patients and their parents – also given by the spatial context the diagnosis is made in – into a moment of rebirth and new life. The moment you understand the nature of the distress is also the moment you can face it and change your perspective; you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

THE PROJECT revolves around this idea: reverse the way you look at the treatment spaces and start to think of them as a place of joy and cheerfulness. Why do they have to be aseptic and functional only? Why do colours have to be neutral and dull? The beauty of the world is also the result of the combination of many colours that enliven the contexts and it’s the energy of light that marks them up.  The project stems from this assumption and aims at making spaces that would otherwise be dominated by functional heaviness more playful and brighter (Andrea Grimaldi, PHD Professor of Interior Architecture at La Sapienza University of Rome) 

And when it was time to move from theory to practice Devoto Design intervened.

The project was born out of scientific cooperation between the Department of Architecture in the person of Professor Andrea Grimaldi and the Department of Human Neuroscience in the person of Professor Francesco Pisani. It was financed by the association Can Yaman For Children which “raises funds, assists and supports children and teenagers in the public health system by promoting activities of social interest for children and teenagers”. The association has completed a lot of projects so far and many more are ongoing in different hospitals and clinics.

Among the last initiatives, was the restyling of the first reception clinic of the Child Neuropsychiatry department of the Umberto I Hospital in Rome.

How to make a Child Neuropsychiatry department more welcoming?

When told about the project, Devoto Design didn’t think twice and committed to the cause by producing heterogeneous elements of space configuration that you can see in the pictures below. Among these elements:

  • THE POLYCHROMATIC CORRIDOR CEILING, made of hundreds of colourful transparent methacrylate tubes that create a rainbow of colours. The idea behind this ceiling was to catch the children’s eyes and entertain them in every moment of their permanence in the clinic. This colourful ceiling is visible from all the rooms through the windows that run along the whole corridor.
  • COLOURFUL SHAPED PANELS installed along the walls of the clinic with the dual purpose of identifying the different areas and decorating the clinic making it warmer and more welcoming.

THE WHOLE PROJECT revolves around the colours that identify the rooms inside the clinic. Every room is marked by a colour: we find it on the floor and the decorative panels on the walls that can also be moved to create always different scenic designs. Moreover, in the corridor colours playfully mingle according to a theory of small polychromatic circles and mark the entrance to the different rooms by drawing on the floor the space of the opening of the doors, almost as if they were drops of healing potions (Andrea Grimaldi, PHD Professor of Interior Architecture at La Sapienza University of Rome) 



THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILD NEUROPSYCHIATRY deals with the “diagnosis and treatment of neurological and psychiatric diseases with onset in the 0-18 age group and provides consultancy within the scope of its expertise to all the other structures of the hospital.  It is a specific reference for some neurological and psychiatric conditions that require dedicated diagnostic and care pathways.” (source: Umberto I official website).


Restyling project: Prof. Arch. Andrea Grimaldi with the cooperation of. arch. PhD student Lucia Nicolai

Furnishings and interior decoration: Devoto design

Flooring and PVC elements: Class design

Plants and wall finishes: Umberto I maintenance staff

Pics: Enrico Artoni


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