Kaunitz Yeung Architecture have been rewarded for their efforts in designing the Newman Health Clinic in Western Australia at the 2021 European Healthcare Design Awards, winning the ‘Design for Health & Wellness’ category and receiving a Highly Commended in the ‘Healthcare Design (Under 25,000 sqm)’ category.
Renowned for their work in remote Aboriginal communities, the practice continually work within the confines of modest budgets to produce facilities of the highest order. Kaunitz Yeung to date have worked on projects within 30 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island communities, 200 Pacific Island communities and various regions in Asia.
The prestigious awards celebrate and recognise shining examples of design projects and innovations in healthcare, which raise the bar in healthcare design and service delivery in Europe and across the globe. Taking out the ‘Design for Health & Wellness’ category has added to the already impressive list of international awards for their design of the Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Services Healthcare Hub.
Practice Director David Kaunitz says Newman is the culmination of more than a decade of working and living in remote Aboriginal communities and integrates design, sustainability, clinical and prefabrication techniques from several earlier projects.
“We believe best practice buildings should be available to all Australians and are thrilled that the Newman Health Clinic has been recognised in two award categories in such a prestigious, international environment,” he says.
“This recognition highlights that high quality, international award-winning architecture is not a matter of cost, but commitment and true collaboration with the people for whom the buildings are being designed and built for.
“The work we do has set new benchmarks for working in and with Aboriginal communities and demonstrates what is possible when true collaboration takes place. We have learnt so much over the years from working with Aboriginal communities and our clients and without their belief, wisdom and generosity, this outcome would not have been possible.”
The clinic, commissioned by the Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Services (PAMS) and located 12,000 kilometres north of Perth in the remote town of Newman, has been well received by the local community with over 12,000 patient visits since opening at the end of July 2020.
A 150kW rooftop photovoltaic system delivering the largest solar power rooftop in the area is a standout feature that provides nearly 100 percent solar energy for the facility, saving PAMS thousands of dollars in operating costs.
“The respectful and collaborative approach by Kaunitz Yeung Architecture with the Martu Elders and communities has created a deep sense of ownership and pride in this health centre amongst the local community,” says PAMS Chief Executive Officer, Robby Chibawe.
“Designing, creating and delivering a new building on time and within a tight budget is hard enough, let alone in the midst of global pandemic, but David and his team did just that with an abundance of professionalism and care.”