The design development phase of Sydney Children’s Hospital Stage 1 and Australia’s first Children’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in Randwick is now complete.
Global pediatric design specialist Billard Leece Partnership (BLP) collaborated with the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, Children’s Cancer Institute, and NSW Health Infrastructure on the ground-breaking ‘bench to bedside’ design of the new facility with inputs from clinicians, researchers, children, families, and carers.
“Our goal with these projects is to use our expertise in pediatric design to build a state-of-the-art precinct that supports patients, their families, and the support networks around them. We know 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 holistic place of healing, for children, their families, carers, hospital and research staff while seamlessly incorporating the latest technology,” says BLP managing director Tara Veldman.
New technologies and world-leading staff will deliver shorter lead times for diagnosis 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 precinct aims to accelerate learning discoveries, engage clinical innovation with bedside care, and meet the complex health needs of the growing population in Sydney as well as across NSW with a future ready workforce.
With patients having quick access to the co-located technical amenities, there are shorter lead times for cancer testing, resulting in better health outcomes. This is a first in Australia for a health facility to offer this practical approach to patient management and care, supporting the Zero Childhood Cancer program.
“BLP has responded to the brief with both creative and technical expertise, designing with head and heart, to deliver a purpose-built, playful and supportive environment for children and their families. The new precinct responds not only to the needs of the child but the entire family and community as a whole,” says Veldman.
The new health precinct recreates the ‘backyard’ as a nature-filled social space for gathering with family and pets, going to the café, or watching an outdoor movie. The shared public courtyard and walkway is specifically designed with fun and inclusivity in mind, activating the senses to help young children feel more comfortable at a stressful time. Play areas, arts and craft spaces, interactive facilities, and destinations for children to play and discover are also provided. The application of this design approach in the built environment is recognized to improve children’s mental health and wellbeing, resulting in faster recovery times.
Biophilic design principles have been seamlessly integrated into the design through natural light, and physical and visual contact with green spaces. Bringing the natural environment inside through materials, colour, rhythm, and interpretive architecture contributes to the child patient’s healing and wellbeing.
“We considered the site’s orientation, connectivity within the precinct, technical requirements, and how the facility is to be used and experienced. Our fundamental goal is to provide the best design for pediatric care, crafting places that are sensitive to the needs of children and their families,” says Ivan Turcinov, design lead, BLP.
“A great example is the hospital entrance that is ‘child friendly’, a stress-free, non-threatening, welcoming environment when a patient arrives. Health is about people, and in the case of this project, translational design can improve wellbeing at a difficult time in a child’s and their family’s life,” continues Turcinov.
Following a competitive procurement process, the contract to construct the Sydney Children’s Hospital and Minderoo Comprehensive Cancer Center was awarded to John Holland.