The design development phase of Sydney Children’s Hospital Stage 1 and Australia’s first Children’s Comprehensive Cancer Center at Randwick is now complete.
Global pediatric design specialist Billard Leece Partnership (BLP) collaborated with Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, Children’s Cancer Institute and NSW Health Infrastructure on the groundbreaking ‘bench-to-bedside’ design of the new facility with input from clinicians, of researchers, children, families and caregivers.
“Our goal with these projects is to use our expertise in pediatric design to build a state-of-the-art enclosure that supports patients, their families and the support networks around them. We know that the recovery process is intrinsically linked to minimizing a child’s stress and anxiety and providing a ‘home away from home’. It is designed as a place of holistic healing, for children, their families, caregivers, hospital and research staff, while seamlessly integrating the latest technologies,” said BLP Chief Executive Tara Veldman.
New technologies and leading personnel will shorten diagnostic times and establish advanced treatment outcomes for children with cancer locally, nationally and globally, supporting the Zero Childhood Cancer program.
By co-locating pediatric healthcare, education and research environments, the compound aims to accelerate learning discoveries, engage clinical innovation with bedside care and address complex healthcare needs. of growing population in Sydney as well as across New South Wales with a future ready workforce.
With patients having quick access to co-located technical facilities, cancer screening times are shorter, resulting in better health outcomes. This is the first in Australia for a healthcare facility to offer this hands-on approach to patient management and care, supporting the Zero Childhood Cancer programme.
“BLP responded to the brief with both creative and technical expertise, designing with head and heart, to provide a purpose-built, playful and supportive environment for children and their families. The new neighborhood not only meets the needs of the child, but of the whole family and the community as a whole,” says Veldman.
The new health center recreates the “backyard” as a social space filled with nature to gather with family and pets, go to a coffee shop or watch a movie outdoors. The shared public courtyard and walkway are specially designed with fun and inclusivity in mind, activating the senses to help young children feel more at ease at a stressful time. Playgrounds, arts and crafts spaces, interactive facilities and destinations for children to play and discover are also provided. Applying this design approach in the built environment is known to improve children’s mental health and well-being, leading to faster recovery times.
Biophilic design principles were seamlessly integrated into the design through natural light and physical and visual contact with green spaces. Bringing the natural environment indoors through materials, color, rhythm and interpretive architecture contributes to the healing and well-being of the patient child.
“We took into account the orientation of the site, the connectivity within the compound, the technical requirements and how the installation should be used and experienced. Our fundamental goal is to provide the best design for pediatric care, creating places that are sensitive to the needs of children and their families,” said Ivan Turcinov, Design Manager, BLP.
“A good example is the entrance to the hospital which is ‘child-friendly’, a stress-free, non-threatening and welcoming environment when a patient arrives. Health is about people, and in the case of this project, translational design can improve well-being at a difficult time in the life of a child and their family,” Turcinov continues.
Following a competitive procurement process, the contract to build Sydney Children’s Hospital and Minderoo Comprehensive Cancer Center has been awarded to John Holland.