Arkhefield's unique design for rural Queensland medical training facility
The new administration and training facilities for the University of Queensland School of Medicine focuses on encouraging medical practitioners to take up rural practice through providing positive clinical education and training experiences for medical students in rural areas.
The arrival sequence is axial, via a sheltered walkway on the southern boundary which flanks a green open space. Entry into the building itself is via a centrally located double volume. The ground floor accommodates all of the student training and support facilities, with the first floor accommodating all of the administration facilities.
The East and West façades are formed up, textured in-situ white concrete walls. These walls have a series of perforations which increase in density and size across the façade to emphasis the entry and animate the façade both internally and externally. The North and South façades are clad in full height, structurally glazed curtain walling. This visual connection further encourages integration with the hospital and creates a pleasant working and training environment for the occupants.
The project aspiration was to offer an alternative to the traditional “blood and bandage” clinical interiors associated with the medical training facilities. We opted for clean linear lines and reductive detailing in keeping with the functional / rational program evident in the planning. The perforated façades, with their biological references, are pulled throughout the building into the joinery, furnishings, lighting and signage. The use of board finish, off-form concrete walls, copper soffits and timber feature doors help to deliver a warm, tactile and inspirational internal volume in which to learn.