Neighboring Nature Inspires New Perth Children’s

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The neighbouring natural forms of Kings Park have inspired the new Perth Children’s Hospital layout.

Designed in partnership with JCY Architects and Urban Planners, Billard Leece Partnership, with HKS Inc and John Holland, the facility has been considered from a child’s perspective.

Driving along Winthrop Avenue, the animated lighting of artist Stuart Green’s “fizz” sculpture and the green façade instantly identifies the children’s hospital as a visual wonderland for families.

Vast areas of north facing glass enable the patients and their families to catch a glimpse of the sculpted forms, artwork and play areas surrounding the hospital, all designed to reduce the anxiety of the child in the environment.

The design team’s starting point was to anchor the Hospital in its unique surroundings. The nearby flora and fauna of King’s Park inspired a concept for the building based on petals and a stem.

“The composition of the building is directly inspired by nature. The elegant floral forms of Kings Park have been key in the general, shaping of the building and the curvaceous sculptural forms carry through the general theme of the architecture. The design has a gentle flow which adds to its humanity and sense of welcome”, said Cox Architecture Director Fernando Faugno.

“Embedded in the organic structure of “stem and petals”, the arrangement of the building emerges as a fluid, connected, sculptural piece.

“The fanning petals house the children’s ward, maximising natural light and views to the south and east. Each petal offers every room natural light and vistas to sky and land.

“The meandering ‘stem’ connects the petals and forms a primary movement gallery through the building. Filled with activity and light, the gallery becomes the social spine of the project, connecting all its diverse array of functions and activities.”

Mark Mitchell of Billard Leece Partnership said “The form also emerges from an ideal layout for patient observation.”

“Open centres to the building generally afford the perimeter for patients’ and families’ use, and the central area of each of the wings are more open for staff to observe, work and provide support across the unit.  So the two concepts came together pretty nicely from a form optimisation perspective.”

The new Children’s Hospital is among the best in the world, and yet is uniquely Western Australian.