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Gray Puksand’s ‘serene’ design for Royal Melbourne Hospital outpost

Gray Puksand’s ‘serene’ design for Royal Melbourne Hospital outpost


The Royal Melbourne Hospital has relocated over 800 staff to a newly furnished building at 635 Elizabeth Street in Melbourne’s CBD, delivered by national architecture studio Gray Puksand.

The hospital’s new six-storey headquarters responds to the requirement of relocating Royal Melbourne Hospital’s non-clinical services off-site to enable the expansion of the clinical services in its existing Parkville campus.

Gray Puksand designed six floors of workspace, as well as clinical and non-clinical support facilities, to provide staff and patients with a warm, light-filled environment for advanced medical treatments. 

Royal Melbourne Hospital

The new health services include an Outpatient Renal Dialysis Unit, a Multiple Sclerosis Centre and a Neuropsychiatry Outpatient Department, which is set to treat over 30,000 patients each year.

Adding new advanced technology and treatment rooms, the 9500-square metre fitout relocates highly specialised healthcare services for increased accessibility.

Calming the healthcare setting

Staff and patient well-being was at the forefront of Gray Puksand’s plan, creating a serene environment that aimed to alleviate stress for patients, companions and staff alike. 

The thoughtfully considered colour palette was influenced by the soft, natural tones of indigenous plants, with timber incorporated throughout the clinical areas, corridors and walkways. By integrating elements inspired by nature, the design instils a sense of calmness and minimises the clinical ambience.

Royal Melbourne Hospital

Pragya Gupta, senior associate at Gray Puksand, says that the design challenge undertaken by the team was to create spaces that feel “warm, welcoming and as much like ‘home’ as possible, providing inclusivity and diversity throughout”.

“Our vision was to transform a clinical and often sterile hospital setting into what feels like a luxury hotel experience for its users, while still remaining cost-effective,” she says.

According to Royal Melbourne Hospital, the feedback from patients has been overwhelmingly positive. This is particularly so for the Renal Dialysis patients, who can receive up to 15 hours of treatment per week, expressing gratitude for the new facility that blends serenity, comfort and solace all under one roof.

Gray Puksand
Lighting for well-being

Due to a lack of space available at the Parkville campus, Royal Melbourne Hospital employees were previously dispersed across various Melbourne premises with often outdated working conditions, including a lack of natural daylight.

Ample natural light, collaboration spaces, well-being areas and spiritual and lactation rooms were incorporated into the new facility’s design to improve the staff’s well-being, productivity and welfare.

Royal Melbourne Hospital

Gray Puksand strategically placed the Dialysis Centre at the southern end of the building, so treatment chairs could overlook views of Melbourne’s city skyline without the impact of solar glare in the north or west wings.

“Healthcare settings are often characterised by white walls, hard, easy-to-clean surfaces and harsh lighting that creates a sterile, clinical feel,” says Gray Puksand senior associate Quentin Seik.

“We recognise that this is not a pleasant, comfortable or inspiring space for patients and staff to be in for long periods of time. That’s why we designed people-centred spaces, providing users with a warm, tranquil and welcoming environment that forms an oasis from the city below.”

The completion of Royal Melbourne Hospital adds to Gray Puksand’s portfolio of healthcare-related projects, which include The Royal Women’s Hospital, Queensland Health, Melbourne Health, Northern Health, Austin Health, Peninsula Health and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Photography supplied by Gray Puksand.

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