The Australian industry is proving its interior design abilities with firm BVN architecture’s Robina Hospital in Queensland taking the top award in its sector, ‘Winner Healthcare Project of the Year Interiors and Design Awards 2011,’ at the WAN awards.
The architects have not only undertaken the massive task of transforming a small facility into a major health care hub, but they have done so in style that is completely removed from traditional, atmospherically institutional hospital buildings of the past.
The interiors of the project draw on the idea that hospitals are not only places for healing - though that is obviously their primary function – but also workspaces.
“(The hospital) 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,” reads the judges’ jury citation.
Examples of this design mentality are prevalent through the use of a bright colour palette in what have been described as ‘colour bursts’ throughout even the most clinical of spaces. This was credited with humanising institutional ‘hidden’ spaces such as the operating theatres and sterilisation rooms, in turn creating an environment that is functional and stimulating. These features were noted for ‘providing relief and an opportunity for re-focus’ for all inhabitants of the space.
What particularly struck jurors is the immaculate attention to detail reflected in the design. The jubilantly bright colour palette and ultra-modern interior design form interconnects zones within the hospital, creating a space that is not disjointed. This helps diminish the ‘us and them’ attitude – often exacerbated by design – between staff and patients in these facilities.
The win alone is a testament to the sheer design excellence used in creating the interiors for the hospital. The jurors’ praise for the design of the unique and cutting edge building reinforces the thought and care put into the site.
The designers’ attention to detail was concisely wrapped up by the jurors as ‘creating a healthcare environment which challenges preconceptions of how a hospital should look and feel and what a hospital experience should be like.’
This is perhaps why the project has been received so warmly. In challenging traditional design molds, the hospital’s design does precisely what great architecture is supposed to do. In following the example set with this project, architectural progress can be made, and truly successful buildings created.