- Article by Online Editor
Bates Smart’s recently completed Gandel Wing at Cabrini Hospital in Malvern, Melbourne, has a cutting-edge design that the architecture firm believes will become a blueprint for future hospital wings.
Bates Smart worked with Cabrini Health for five years to realise its aspirations in upgrading its health precinct and offering state-of-the-art oncology and maternity services. The result is the new Clinical Services Building, known as the Gandel Wing, at Cabrini Malvern.
With a focus on patient restoration, the $120 million building has technology embedded throughout, coupled with a highly sophisticated design approach.
Bates Smart design director, Kristen Whittle, says the building will become “a national benchmark for patient comfort.”
“Our design carefully blends sustainability with salutogenesis [the relationship between health, stress, and coping.] to create a building that soothes the spirit and promotes positive healing and wellness,” she says. “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.
The natural slatted terracotta façade complements the adjacent 60s brickwork of the original hospital, uniting the site into “a harmonious and identifiable” health campus. The façade carefully fans out so that the patients’ view from bed is unobstructed whilst providing screening, meaning that each room enjoys views outwards towards nature and considered landscaped environments, cultivating a nurturing and serene atmosphere.
A hotel-like experience underpins the design, and the use of high-quality products and materials – from the timber panelling through to the carpets –offers an experience that is beyond the traditional clinical environment.
Natural materials give the room a warm ambience, while bespoke joinery conceals essential medical equipment, creating a calmer and more nurturing atmosphere.
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 says. “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,” says Healey.
To address research that suggests patients accessing bathroom facilities place themselves at the greatest risk of falling, the Gandel Wing patient room design ensures direct sightlines between the bed and ensuite, together with subtle handrail lighting, which will 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. An environment that is energised by nature, will, in turn, provide better amenity for patients, carers and staff,” adds Healey.
Photography by Peter Clarke