Territory Savanna, an external cladding product from Cemintel®, was specifically selected for the exterior and courtyard facades at the newly expanded Port Macquarie Base Hospital Mental Health Unit to support patient recovery.

Expansion works undertaken at the local Base Hospital in the growing town of Port Macquarie aimed to bring world-class services, equipment and skills to the region. The $17.5-million expansion of the mental health unit has also delivered a new approach to holistic care through thoughtful design, inside and out.

The design team of A.W Edwards and STH Architects were given a brief that called for natural light and quiet, secure spaces for relaxation both inside the building and outside in the courtyards. Separate courtyards were planned for adults, adolescents and close observation patients.

Banking on their experience with the modernisation of healthcare services and having completed works at various hospitals across New South Wales, the design team utilised colour and texture to create a new care experience for the hospital’s patients, family and staff.

“With the expansion of the Port Macquarie Base Hospital Mental Health Unit, the design carefully considers that access to areas other than the inside of a hospital room could support patient recovery. The incorporation of accessible courtyard spaces allows patient interaction with the outdoor elements – in particular sunlight, breeze and views towards the surrounding treetops,” the design team stated.

Cemintel Territory Savanna was used as exterior cladding for the courtyard facades in a dual colour selection of Mist and Cloud, placed in a horizontal formation on the building’s external facades as well as within the courtyards. The horizontal installation enhances the sense of an open and relaxed flow, while the colours were chosen specifically for people to feel warm and safe. Additionally, the colours also worked to connect elements of the space together.

“They are cohesive with the outdoor environment. Mist connects to the ground and Cloud connects to the sky, which extends the scale of the space and creates a feeling of openness,” the design team explained.

Coastal Commercial Linings foreman Brock Baird, who was already familiar with Territory Savannah, recommended the cladding to enhance the quality and performance of the space. 

“The installation process was seamless, and by cutting the panels to different sizes and staggering the dark panels in between, we were able to keep the space interesting without dominating it,” Baird said.

For the Port Macquarie Base Hospital, which serves the local community, it was important to select materials that would combine durability with minimal maintenance. Territory Savanna has platinum coating technology, which protects against UV damage and colour fade, with a NichiGuard stain-resistant and self-cleaning coating. The cladding also assures long-term thermal performance thanks to a ventilated cavity between the panels that prevents mould and water build-up, and provides a more sustainable method of heating and cooling.

Cemintel’s Territory Savanna allowed the design team to modernise and enhance the courtyards to suit the needs of the staff, patients and their families.