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    Gouda vibrations: BVN’s Bega hospital uses nature’s power as a healing tool

    Bega NSW

    Every ward and office has a window at the new $187-million South East Regional Hospital in Bega, NSW which officially opened to the public on 4 April.

    Designed by BVN, the hospital is built on a brand new site one kilometre south of the Bega CBD with sweeping views out over Bega Valley and is underpinned by the notions of access to nature and easily navigable spaces.

    The three-storey facility incorporates 136 beds, an emergency department, rehab and palliative care facilities, medical oncology and renal dialysis units, a mental health service as well as primary health care and a helipad.

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    All of these spaces are planned around a central open space which connects the various activities within the hospital and promotes an easily navigable environment injected with landscape and nature.

    Openings between each of the walls were designed to allow patients to navigate easily through the hospital, reducing stress and anxiety levels, while ready access to outside space and balcony spaces encourage rest and relaxation.

    The project’s design is research-led, drawing inspiration from the work Dr Roger Ulrich who is a noted proponent of biophilia and using nature as a healing tool.  

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    Additionally, BVN says they underwent extensive user consultation and site analysis for the project which resulted in a design that they believe is sensitive to the hospital’s cultural and environmental context.

    Julian Ashton, Principal of BVN and project leader comments on this mix of influences:

    “A new hospital must take into account the latest health research and the design of the South East Regional Hospital in Bega does exactly that.”

    “Most important to inspirational hospital spaces is ready access to outside space and balcony spaces that contribute to promoting a sense of wellbeing, rest and relaxation.”

    “By planning around a central, open space which connects the various activities within the hospital, patients are able to navigate easily through the hospital, reducing stress and anxiety levels.”

     “In addition to research, extensive user consultation is fundamental to developing a purpose-built healthcare facility with contemporary functional design and models of care.”

    “This resulted in a design that is sensitive to the hospital’s cultural and environmental context. With a northerly aspect on the edge of the Bega River, the hospital has a strong connection to landscape and the regional community.”

    The South East Regional Hospital redevelopment was jointly financed with $160.1 million from the Commonwealth under the Health and Hospitals Fund and $26.9 million from the NSW Government.

    Key Info

    Architect: BVN Architecture
    Builder: Brookfield Multiplex
    Town planner: Urbis
    Landscape architecture: 360 Degrees
    Quantity surveyor: Rider Levett Bucknall
    Structure: SCP
    Civil: C+M Consulting
    Words: Nathan Johnson

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