The new Royal Children's Hospital is based on a care model that puts children and their parents at the centre of the facility. The therapeutic benefits of nature underpin the overall design, with a story deriving from the natural textures, forms, patination and colours of the surrounding Royal Park.
Using evidence-based design principles, the Royal Children's Hospital reflects changing healthcare practices, workplace patterns, user expectations, community aspirations and environmental responsibility. The built environment is infused with the experience of nature which creates an enriching and restorative environment for children, staff and the public. Considered detailing invites the human touch, respectfully acknowledges the child and provides a safe environment while deinstitutionalising the hospital genre.
The architectural approach is informed by the native bushland setting of Royal Park, and the built environment is infused with the experience of nature which provides therapeutic and healing effects for the children and a hopeful backdrop for visitors.
The building is split into a campus masterplan with a central street joining new public gardens to the north and southwest. The north orientation breaks away from the city grid and turns instead to the park allowing the collection of buildings to have light-filled landscaped gardens around their full perimeter, avoiding a 'front and back' portrayal and enhancing the connection between child and park.
The use of narrow footprints for the clinical buildings provides natural light to enter all corners of the hospital. The natural slope of the site also meant that the new facilities could link to the park at three different levels intertwining the hospital.
The inpatient unit building is designed in a star shape, connecting the rooms to the park. More than 80 per cent of the rooms have park views, others look into courtyards. Specially designed glass sunshades on the hospital's exterior allow activity in the grounds below to be viewed from the patient's bed. Bedroom spaces, 85 per cent of which provide single occupancies, have been designed to be calm and comforting, befitting a place of recovery and respite. Medical procedures are conducted away from the bedroom whenever possible, leaving the bedroom to be a haven for rest and family time.
The main feature of the building is the sweep of coloured 'leaf' blades along Flemington Road. Fabricated in curved panels, they provide protection from the sun whilst also creating a shimmering organic structure and identity for the new hospital.
At the heart of the new facility is the six storey 'Main Street', a naturally lit public thoroughfare which links the elements of the hospital together and invites the community through retail offerings, places to meet and eat, a performance space, playgrounds, a meerkat enclosure and aquarium, large scale artworks and interactive video screens. Partnerships with Melbourne Zoo, Scienceworks Museum and Hoyts cinema resulted in these popular activities for children and families which distract and engage the imagination of all age groups.
Recognising that the health of the environment and the health of people are inextricably linked, the new hospital campus delivers a holistic approach to sustainability - environmental, emotional, physical and psychological.
The integrated design solution separates support from clinical areas, enabling shut down of areas not required to run 24 hours per day; provides views to parkland wherever possible; optimises natural daylight; and significantly reduces the carbon footprint through a combination of tri-generation, bio-mass heating, solar thermal panels and water conservation including blackwater treatment and rainwater recovery among other initiatives. Energy efficiency measures mean the hospital produces 45 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions compared to a conventional hospital and water saving measures achieve at least a 20 per cent reduction in water use.
RAIA National Public Architecture Award 2012
BPN Sustainability Awards Best of the Best Award 2012
RAIA (VIC) Victorian Architecture Medal; William Wardell Award Public Architecture; Melbourne Prize 2012
Design & Health International Academy Awards, International Health Project 40,000sqm Winner; Interior Design Winner; Sustainable Design Winner 2012
Australian Interior Design Awards Premier Award for Interior Design Excellence and Innovation 2012
World Architecture Festival Awards, Health Category Winner 2012
National Infrastructure Awards, Infrastructure Project of the Year 2012
International Interior Design Association Global Excellence Awards, Best of Best 2012
Dulux Colour Awards Grand Prix Winner 2012
Consult Australia Awards, Collaboration Gold Award 2012
DOUBLE GLAZED UNIT
POLISHED CONCRETE PANELS
SAND BLASTED PRECAST PANELS
FEATURE RENDER TO FAÇADE
REVOLVING TWO WING MAIN ENTRY DOOR
PERMASTEELISA, LAMINATED GLASS SUN SHADES
INTERNAL CUSTOM JOINERY
FIBREGLASS FEATURE RECEPTION DESKS
GODFREY HIRST AUSTRALIA