The new face of healthcare

Thursday 03 Nov 2011

Small local hospital transformed into major regional health facility

Robina Hospital forms part of the infrastructure of the Gold Coast Health Services District, which delivers public health services to Queensland's Gold Coast, the fastest growing region of Australia for over two decades.  The Robina Hospital Expansion project has transformed a small local hospital into a major regional health facility.

At an urban scale, the new building provides a landmark for those driving to the town centre from the freeway, and uses a simple material palette and clean architectural forms to offer a legible formal composition to the complex hospital plan.

At the scale of the campus, the design begins to reveal a further level of complexity and delight, by using the predominant façade textures and forms (which provide hints of colour against a backdrop of simple silver cladding) to lead the visitor into courtyard spaces saturated with colour and texture. 

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 build upon the design concept of positive distraction, providing relief and warmth as a counterpoint to a user experience which often coincides with difficult, stressful or uncertain times in one's life. Further colour is added from the planting in these courtyards and the sculptures within them depicting an array of medicinal plants and seeds.

Within the hospital, abundant natural light, views to near or far landscape and the considered application of vibrant colour give the spaces a non-institutional feel.

This design approach continues to even the most 'hidden' spaces such as the sterilising department and the operating theatres themselves, where large format graphics bring unexpected colour and texture into the intense clinical environment, providing relief and an opportunity for re-focus.

This approach recognises that the contemporary hospital is not only a place of support for the patient, but also a modern workplace for highly skilled and valuable staff. The design creates a healthcare environment which challenges preconceptions of how a hospital should look and feel, and what the hospital experience should be like.

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