HDR redesigns Dubbo and Wyong hospitals

Monday, 18 July, 2022

HDR redesigns Dubbo and Wyong hospitals

Two major hospital redevelopments in Dubbo and Wyong in regional New South Wales are set to deliver much-needed regional healthcare infrastructure to remote communities.

The redevelopments, by architecture studio HDR, are designed with an aim to service the need for improved healthcare delivery and ensure staff and patient wellbeing. Part of the delivery of a program by the NSW Government to transform health care in rural, growing communities, the projects focus on practical, spacious layouts, natural light and biophilia to enhance staff wellbeing and patient recovery.

As HDR’s health leadership team in Australia sketched out their plans for the two hospitals, their international colleagues were conducting a study into the effect of design on healthcare facilities in rural towns, with detailed outcomes set to inform the work of the studio, and its contemporaries in the years to come.

Working for the Western NSW Local Health District, HDR provided specialist healthcare master planning and design for the $150 million Dubbo Base Hospital, which is now positioned as the major referral centre and acute care hospital for specialty services in Central NSW.

The expansion and upgrade provides a new clinical services building, surgical inpatient unit, emergency department and short-stay unit, medical imaging unit, critical care floor, ambulatory care unit and renal unit.

HDR’s revision of the masterplan brought the clinical building closer to the rest of the hospital (rather than across the road), achieving the design goal of supporting clinical efficiency.

A new entry foyer, a drop-off zone and extra car parking are also among the new and enhanced buildings and spaces. New maternity wards have been created, with the original wards converted into administration offices and a medical records space.

“HDR’s masterplan provided clinical efficiencies and a functional layout that will work for the next 30 years,” said Joe Mihaljevic, HDR Project Director.

Prominent Aboriginal artwork provides a welcoming feature for Dubbo’s large Indigenous community and aims to positively impact the wellbeing of patients and their families. HDR integrated lighting in its designs to ensure the artworks were given due prominence.

Successful work on Dubbo Hospital Redevelopment saw HDR commissioned again by its client to design and deliver the Western Cancer Centre Dubbo, a new facility to deliver cancer treatment and diagnostic services to people across remote Western NSW.

Green is for healing

In HDR’s healthcare study ‘Rural Resolve’, access to parks, recreation and greenery is one of eight recommendations for the improvement of rural health care. Rural Resolve is a detailed study into the positive impact that design can have on the wellbeing of rural hospital patients, staff and visitors.

“Simply viewing savannah-like settings led to one study’s participants reporting less fear and anger, and more considerable attention and peacefulness,” the study found.

Taking heed for the Wyong Hospital Redevelopment, HDR makes a prized feature of the facility’s stunning bushland surrounds. Floor-to-ceiling windows at the end of each corridor and between patient beds reveal vast blue skies and sculptural trees.

“We recognised the stunning natural landscape of the western side of the building and made a point of capturing the views and natural daylight. It’s such an important factor for the hospital and for the health and recovery of patients,” said Alan Boswell, HDR Design Director.

Working for the Central Coast Local Health District, HDR helped deliver a new clinical services building as part of the $200 million redevelopment.

The new six-level building, with scope for further levels on top, provides a new emergency department, intensive care unit, additional treatment space, a new medical imaging department and medical assessment unit as part of the hospital’s Stage 3 masterplan works.

The new facility is linked to the existing 1970s hospital by an enclosed footbridge.

“Access to good healthcare facilities is a right for people in regional areas as much as in the cities, and so we’re delighted to have provided our design expertise in this sector which we aim to improve outcomes for staff, patients and the wider community,” Boswell said.

Images supplied.

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