The best hospitals ever made were designed with access to landscape, views, natural light and sunshine. Long before the obvious curative benefits of these features were clinically demonstrated, architects and landscape architects have intuitively positioned nature and landscape as central to the health care experience of patients, staff and researchers.
Rush Wright Associates worked on this project from the early commercial bid through to construction completion over a six-year period. The project has demonstrated new potential for the successful inclusion of landscape spaces in a clinical, research and teaching setting. It successfully integrates patient and staff respite spaces, and areas for calm and contemplation, alongside active social designs.
With a focus on a healthy workplace the designs address staff and patient requirements differently, and balancing the needs of many user groups in unique and creative ways.
Ideas about landscape were central to the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre project. The central facade and atrium space, the roof terraces, and small patient break-out spaces reference biomorphology in landscape form, surface, pattern and the array of plant specimens grown. The island site for the hospital, has become a virtue, for not only does the building present ‘in the round’ it gives every facade and every window on every floor a long and valuable view out to the tree canopies and skyline of the city. Recent research proves that even photographs of natural landscapes located in recovery settings improve outcomes; here almost every space has the real thing.
The aim of any hospital is for people to leave as soon as they are able; these gardens become constant reminders of reality outside, and the real places people want to be- healthy, and alive.
2018 AILA National Design Award Recipient
The award jury cited the project as: “This project is impressive in its botanic diversity which varies throughout the range of garden spaces. Private secluded rainforest niches and courtyards provide respite and reflection, while large, active rooftop terraces cater for a mix of social spaces to meet, mingle and relax. Additional rooftop terraces are designed more like a casual backyard, planted with productive trees and edible understoreys”.