Bendigo Hospital Project
- Silver Thomas Hanley with Bates Smart and OCULUS
- Norman Disney and Young
- Lend Lease
The new Bendigo Hospital is the largest regional hospital development in Victoria. The $AUD630 million Victorian Government project delivers world-class healthcare facilities and a 13-hectare precinct development, with a strong sense of place. This positive, inviting environment promotes well-being for patients, staff, visitors, and the community; combining a network of nearly fifty accessible and inaccessible green roofs, roof decks, balconies, and courtyards; and a high quality public realm with a strong connection to the city, engaging with challenging topography; readdressing new and old key buildings; and increasing tree canopy, green infrastructure and biological diversity.
Providing choice for patients, staff, visitors and the community was central to the design of this world class hospital. To minimize stress, a diversity of community, collaborative and private spaces was provided; with the interior and exterior connecting with the region and locality, through planting, graphics and artworks that reference the landscapes and flora of the Loddon Mallee; adding vibrancy to the interior. The team worked closely with the Chinese community, and the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation through the closing the gap initiative to minimize stress and create cultural practice, planting design, education and employment opportunities.
The hospital’s helipad, technology and ICT solutions enable families to stay in the region to receive their healthcare bringing broader community and economic benefit. The hospital’s green roofs reduce glare and the heat island effect, improving acoustic and thermal performance. An extensive 770 panels 200-kilowatt solar photovoltaic panel array generates clean energy power with an annual reduction in greenhouse gases of approximately 300,000 kilograms of CO2. The roof can harvest and store more than 300kL of potable and non-potable rainwater; and cogeneration and trigeneration plants allow for the simultaneous generation of electricity and heating and cooling.
The inpatient unit is the main civic element of the hospital, a strong sculptural form clearly separated from the podium; designed from the inside out, with all internal corridors terminating in floor-to-ceiling views of the landscape, and rooms with generous uninterrupted views and access to natural light. Windows mirror the context making the building more inviting. The window strategy disguising the uniform pattern of individually stacked hospital rooms, creating a more playful composition. A north-south civic axis providing a clear and welcoming entrance to the hospital, culminating with a triple height internal street, creating an important through site link.
To create Australia’s first world-class regional hospital we used a Biophilic Design approach, an attempt to translate our inherent human affinity with nature that has an organic or naturalistic dimension and a place-based dimension to connect to local culture and geography. And an evidence-based design approach, the idea of designing healthfulness into our environments based on credible research to provide access to nature and positive distractions – providing a sense of control and social support; and spaces for physical movement and exercise. As well as the use of ferns in lines of sight because their leaf structure is fractal and known to have beneficial psychological effects.
The urban design uses a legible structure to create a walkable precinct with a clear hierarchy of streets, lanes and walkways. The building and precinct design reference the historical, cultural and ecological context to create a strong sense of place. Separation of the building mass maximises views and daylight; the modulation of the façade relating strongly to the site’s topography and the rhythm of the street. A high quality public realm provides a series of therapeutic and community gardens, roof decks balconies and courtyards. The project has delivered, social, environmental, cultural and economic benefits to the community and the region.