Three years on from a devastating flood that saw the Numurkah District Health Services in Victoria damaged beyond repair, a new look state-of-the-art facility has now reopened its doors to the community.

The 3,000sqm building has been designed by GroupGSA and includes a dental clinic, rehabilitation centre, operating theatre, acute wards, urgent care facility and connection to aged care.

Apart from all the mandatory upgrades, most obviously an increased elevation to prevent a repeat 2012 floods scenario, Group GSA have also delivered an interesting, colourful and unique healthcare building through their selection of building materials.

The architect’s treatment to the building’s façade and roof for example is as much an artistic collage of colour, textures and shapes as it is a front for a very sincere institution. There are bricks, but they’re glazed and multi-coloured. There is also prefab concrete, corrugated steel and hardwood cladding, but they too are used in unusual ways.

Fielders Finesse Shadowline 305 features on the oversized fascia while recycled Ironbark cladding
is used as lining board for the soffits.

But that’s not to say the building is impractical. The material palette, says Group GSA, along with the building’s floorplan and orientation, was chosen to help deliver a building that is connected to nature, easy to navigate and comfortable for recovering patients.

Group GSA says they worked from three clear objectives:

Ensure a connectedness between all departments, make wayfinding intuitive and clear and connections simple and direct

Create a facility, which is open and inviting, pleasant for patients, visitors and residents of the aged care facility and a wonderful place for staff to work everyday

Embed wellness, wellbeing and recovery as a key consideration in design with an emphasis on patient direct exposure or views of interesting landscape, the promotion of movement and use of natural and local materials to link design together

Linking spaces and way finding is again most obvious in GroupGSA’s choice of materials. For example, the aforementioned glazed bricks feature inside and out, and are arranged in a mixed colour pattern that flows from white (interiors) to light green to deep green (exterior).  Ironbark eaves lining and internal feature panelling also accentuates internal to external connections, as do the hexagonal motifs and splashes of colour that appear both internally and outside.

Black oxide precast concrete panels juxtapose the smooth white panels infront which feature 50mm hexagonal geometric relief

Useability was also an important part of the brief and to promote a sense of connectedness between various building departments the architects chose to locate both the reception and a shared courtyard at the core of the building. This encourages serendipitous encounters between patients, the public and staff as the building’s various departments and facilities are accessed through the same focal point and flow patterns.  

A special purpose courtyard features outdoor walking gym with assisted walking equipment, ramp and stairs for rehabilitation therapy

Additionally, each bedroom or waiting area has views and access to landscape areas which was a key wellbeing and recovery consideration for GroupGSA.


Fielders, Kliplok 700, 0.48 in Colorbond Whitehaven

Euroa, Glazed Bricks
Eco Timber, Recycled Ironbark
Fielders, Finesse Shadowline 305

Capral Aluminium, St Lucia 406 Frontglaze
Viridian New World Glass, EVantage and Decorcolour
AGP Louvres, Fineline XT


Knauf, Stratopanel
USG Boral, Powerscape Plasterboard

Gerflor, vinyl flooring
Ontera, carpet tiles
Johnson Tiles, ceramic tiles

Woven Image, Echopanel (pinboard panel)
Laminex, laminate