Karratha Superclinic

Karratha, Western Australia

The Karratha Super Clinic provides allied health services for the town’s Indigenous population, fly-in-fly-out workers and families living remotely.

The building establishes an important conversation with place through an abstract interpretation of the surrounding natural environment. Importantly, the building exerts a civic quality, creating a much-needed sense of permanence and belonging in the fledgling town centre.

Complex spatial pressures were resolved through a process of planning and negotiation.

The design respond to the cultural values of indigenous clients; particularly the relationship to enclosed spaces and incorporating an understanding of the cultural traditions for privacy.

Colour tempers the medical experience and provides an important wayfinding tool once inside the building.

With its location in one of the hottest parts of Australia, considerable attention was placed on creating outdoor spaces that could be occupied throughout the year. A self-shading strategy made up of deep verandahs, colonnades, balconies, awnings and screens creates outdoor spaces and helps reduce the load on mechanical air conditioning. Commercial materials have been selected for their durability in this harsh climate, and are used throughout the project.

This project provides an incredibly important piece of amenity for the community. In an article in Architecture Australia, Jo Halpin, CEO of the Pilbara health Network, revealed how the local Indigenous people now refer to the building as their ‘Rainbow Home’.