The Eastern Clinical Development is a state-of-the-art hospital design that provides world-class facilities and service delivery with a design that addresses the tension between the ‘clinical’ aspects of healthcare and the human dimension of the patient experience.
With the building sited behind the state heritage-listed Waverley House, its design needed to balance the provision of a clinical environment while paying homage to the character of the precinct.
Much of the building’s design was based on the idea that ‘distant views are healing’, according to the architects. Therefore, opportunistic and incidental views were programmed into the design to allow sightlines into adjacent parklands and roof lines beyond. An abundance of natural light paired with these nature views helps to lessen the intensity of the clinical environment.
Elements of the surrounding architecture were addressed through the building’s form and material palette. For example, the building has been designed to integrate with the predominantly low scale residential character of the precinct while enhancing the form and detailing of Waverley House. The architects chose to incorporate high-quality materials with a modulated and articulated facade.
The design is also climate-responsive, adapted to Adelaide’s weather conditions through sustainable features such as ventilated terracotta facades, displacement air conditioning to the wards and a tri generation central thermal plant.
Inside, the building is designed to human scale. It uses materials, finishes and form that balance clinical/infection control requirements with the need to create a calming environment for occupants.
Overall, the design has managed to balance the highly serviced, technical nature of a clinical environment with the creation of a comfortable environment for staff, patients and carers. This was achieved primarily through skillful detailing, maximised views and uncluttered spatial arrangements that encourage social interaction.