New $345 million hospital in the heart of Adelaide

Thursday, 09 April, 2020

New $345 million hospital in the heart of Adelaide

Calvary Adelaide Hospital is said to be the largest private hospital in South Australia, marking Calvary Health Care South Australia’s biggest undertaking in Australia.

Located in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD, Calvary Adelaide Hospital has been designed to deliver high-quality, compassionate health care under the established national Calvary network, which has been caring for South Australians since 1900.

The $345 million hospital — which encompasses the former Calvary Wakefield Hospital and Calvary Rehabilitation Hospital — specialises in acute medical and surgical services including general and bariatric surgery; neuro and spinal surgery; vascular, cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery; orthopaedic and sports medicine; general medicine; and acute rehabilitative care.

To design the contemporary hospital facility, Calvary Health Care South Australia engaged renowned architecture firm and health specialist Silver Thomas Hanley, employing property developer Commercial & General to oversee the multimillion-dollar project. Building Contractor John Holland Group completed the building in late 2019 ahead of the hospital’s opening in early January 2020.

Design considerations

Calvary Adelaide Hospital has been built with patient comfort, experience and functionality at the forefront of its design. With the health sector continually evolving in a fast-paced environment, Calvary Adelaide has been built with the capacity to adapt to and embrace the latest advances in technology. Through innovative design, state-of-the-art equipment and practical amenities, the new hospital is futureproofed to ensure longevity at its CBD location.

Calvary Adelaide Hospital cuts a distinctive profile across the Adelaide skyline. The 12-storey, two-tone hospital is said to be unlike any other hospital facility in the state. An immediate design element is the distinctive blue facade — a reference to the national Calvary branding and colourways.

Silver Thomas Hanley architects described the external form as being built up over three distinct levels.

“At the street level, transparent, glazed walls allow for interface with the public. This allows the cafe, lobby and tenancies to be inviting and engage passers-by. Directly above the street level is the podium, characterised by solid facade, articulated in white precast concrete panels, with windows allowing select views from the spaces within. These levels house the technical spaces of the hospital, operating theatres, procedure rooms, admissions and recovery spaces.

“The facade articulation allows for controlled views, while maximising privacy and security.”

Hospital or hotel?

Progressing to levels six through to 11, the hospital houses single-occupancy patient rooms, with each room showcasing expansive views and modern ensuite bathrooms. The internal design is a direct reflection of the brief to deliver personalised patient experiences that are more aligned to a hotel stay than a clinical hospital environment.

“The inpatient unit tower completes the building. The variegated blue glass captures the colour of Calvary’s corporate branding, while reflecting the blue of the surrounding sky,” Silver Thomas Hanley said.

“The form is pulled back from the building boundary, allowing all patient bedrooms access to expansive views across the Adelaide skyline and bringing in valuable natural light.

“Three terraces are located around the north-eastern side of the building, providing breakout space for staff at level five, with a rehabilitation garden and space for both inpatients and outpatients on levels six and seven.”

Hard-wearing, textural limestone is featured in highly trafficked areas including the ground floor main entry while the deep-pile carpeted zones identify personal, quiet areas. These areas, including the level one chapel entrance and foyer, are furnished with lounge seating to provide a club-style amenity and comfort for visitors and Calvary staff.

Design continuity with individual accents

Continuity of design is carried throughout the hospital with timber finishes pairing seamlessly with the varying colourways found on each ward, including iconic wall-size photography by Ben Goode.

Each patient accommodation floor maintains its own subtle identity expressed through colour, graphic patterns pulled from photography found across the hospital and texture. Localised identity assists patient orientation, allowing for a relaxed and comfortable stay.

Contrasting, muted tones adorn the walls of patient bedrooms, with graphics backing the large bedhead to create a focal point in the room. Warm timber panelling is seen throughout the patient bedrooms to enhance the patient experience and elevate the hotel-style aesthetic in line with communal areas in the hospital.


Calvary Adelaide provides 344 beds, an additional 66 day beds and 23 interventional suites comprising 16 state-of-the-art operating theatres (including five dedicated day surgery theatres), Adelaide’s first hybrid theatre, two angiography laboratories and four procedural rooms. The new facility also accommodates onsite radiology and pathology services, a retail pharmacy and a coffee shop, as well as consulting tenancies with over 70 specialist doctors now conducting their practice from the location.

The hospital is also said to provide the only 24/7 private emergency department in South Australia — allowing patients to be seen faster and to receive high-quality, critical care day and night.

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