Designed for comfort


Thursday, 12 September, 2019



Designed for comfort

Bates Smart’s latest health development, the Gandel Wing at Cabrini Malvern, provides next-generation treatment in cancer, cardiac, emergency, geriatric care, infectious diseases, maternity and neurology.

The $120 million building features the latest in cutting-edge design, urban amenity and modern technology to serve the needs of patients into the future.

Rising seven storeys above ground (and four below), the new wing provides an additional 48 beds, bringing the total number of hospital beds to 556. The new building welcomed its first patients in July and was completely occupied in late August.

Cabrini Health’s new clinical services building, located at 183 Wattletree Road in Malvern, Victoria, signifies the end of nine years of planning and development to improve healthcare services and continues Bates Smart’s longstanding relationship with the hospital, which spans more than 50 years.

Bates Smart Design Director Kristen Whittle said the 16,350 m2 hospital precinct was the newest purpose-built environment of its kind with technology embedded throughout, coupled with a highly sophisticated design approach to create an environment that would become a national benchmark for patient comfort.

“Our design carefully blends sustainability with salutogenesis to create a building that soothes the spirit and promotes positive healing and wellness,” he said.

“With the completion of this latest phase, Cabrini can continue to provide an exceptional patient experience for many years to come.

“This new extension combines cutting-edge technology with environmental design concepts and consciously considers the patient perspective.

“We have transformed the hospital ward from a purely clinical and sterile place into one of wellbeing, comfort and healing.

“Research has shown that access to views and nature has a direct impact on the wellness of patients.

“Our approach to all healthcare developments is about creating spaces for healing, rather than simply treating illnesses.”

The natural slatted terracotta facade complements the adjacent sixties brickwork of the original hospital, uniting the site into a harmonious and identifiable health campus. The facade carefully fans out so that the patient’s view from bed is unobstructed whilst providing screening. Each room enjoys views outwards towards nature and considered landscaped environments, cultivating a nurturing and serene atmosphere.

A critical addition to the hospital campus is the inclusion of the radiotherapy bunker, which completes the integrated cancer care model, improving the patient experience by allowing them to receive all their treatment under one roof.

Bates Smart Studio Director Mark Healey said the interior design team worked closely with Cabrini to place the patient firmly at the forefront of the design process.

“We have approached every aspect of this design through the lens of the patient to ensure new levels of dignity, comfort and safety are met,” he said.

“The Gandel Wing will redefine the hospital room and treatment space to ensure new levels of comfort and control.

“Leveraging state-of-the-art technology, the room will automatically adjust to the most appropriate modes for lighting, heating and cooling, relieving the patient of this burden.

“We wanted to connect the patient more closely with natural systems through full-height windows, maximising natural light and fresh air through the use of operable windows.”

Healy said that research suggested patients accessing bathroom facilities placed themselves at the greatest risk of falling. The Gandel Wing patient room design ensured direct sightlines between the bed and ensuite, together with subtle handrail lighting, which would assist in removing any ambiguity when waking in a foreign environment and increase levels of safety for the patient.

“We want to promote a more empathetic approach to healthcare design that has care at its core,” Healey said.

“An environment that is energised by nature will, in turn, provide better amenity for patients, carers and staff.”

Cabrini Chief Executive Dr Michael Walsh said the Gandel Wing would allow the health service to continue to provide the best possible care for patients, and their families, well into the future.

“The Gandel Wing will help Cabrini to be an even better health service, by consolidating, expanding and improving our facilities,” Dr Walsh said.

“This building will help us to deliver the utmost care to our patients, in the local area and beyond, as we enter a new era in technology.”

Bates Smart Studio Director Tim Leslie, who led the project team, said this was the practice’s latest healthcare development, with the experienced team building upon the world-class design strategies established at The Royal Children’s Hospital and, most recently, Bendigo Hospital.

“The combination of Cabrini’s great vision with the generosity of the Gandel family’s philanthropy provided the perfect avenue for the design team to explore, redefine and execute a holistic architectural health solution to meet Cabrini’s high aspirations,” he said.

“We are proud that this project will benefit the many generations of patients and staff to come.”

All images credit: ©Peter Clarke

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