Landscape, light and colour used to support a salutogenic approach to hospital design
Robina Hospital forms part of the infrastructure of Queensland’s Gold Coast Health Service District, delivering public health services to the region. The Robina Hospital Expansion project has transformed a small local hospital into a major regional health facility. The design promotes the modern healthcare environment as a place of wellness, and also a workplace for highly skilled staff.
Two key architectural design concepts evident throughout the project are the use of landscaped courtyards to provide a framework for the design along with the selective application of colour. Existing courtyards were a key factor in the development of the design concept as these were considered strong, positive features of the hospital. The combination of existing and new courtyards afford pleasant outlooks from internal spaces, enhance wayfinding, introduce natural light, create a sub-tropical landscaped ambience and provide visual amenity.
The controlled application of colour to building elements across the project, provides visual interest, energy and creates a non-institutional feel. The use of colour assists with wayfinding and is intended to give the expanded hospital a strong identity.
At the urban scale, the new building provides a landmark for motorists entering Robina, using a simple material palette and clean architectural forms to offer legibility to the hospital plan. At the scale of the hospital, the design reveals a further level of complexity and delight by using the predominant façade textures and forms with hints of added colour against a backdrop of simple silver cladding to lead the visitor into the vibrant courtyard spaces.
The calm greens of the Southern Courtyard, the bright orange of the Education Courtyard, or the vibrant Linear Courtyard with its yellows, oranges and reds, all offer positive distraction, providing relief and warmth as a counterpoint to a user experience which often coincides with difficult, stressful or uncertain times.