St Vincent’s
Hospital ‘Berengarra’
Aged Care

St Vincent’s
Hospital ‘Berengarra’
Aged Care

As Australia’s ageing population increases, the need for comfortable, compassionate and thoughtful design in aged care facilities has never been greater. The St Vincent’s Hospital ‘Berengarra’ Aged Care facility provides a flexible environment for person-centred care in a high quality, purpose-designed public sector aged care facility. Person-centred care allows flexible service to meet people’s needs in a dynamic way, resulting in a positive outcome for both patients and their families. Part of the Masterplan for St George’s Hospital Campus in Kew, the facility is an opportunity to refresh and innovate nursing home design and deliver a new, purpose built contemporary structure that serves as a blueprint for future aged care developments in Victoria.

  • Sector

    Hospitals & Healthcare

  • Key Lyons contacts

    Neil Appleton
    Corbett Lyon

  • Client

    St Vincent’s Health Melbourne (SVHM)
    Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

  • Location

    St Vincent’s Hospital, St Georges (Kew)

  • Traditional land

    Located on the traditional land of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people

  • Size

    6025 square metres

  • Project status

    Complete, 2020

“Lyons…demonstrated a deep commitment to research and learning – at all times they sought out evidence-based design solutions and lessons learned / examples from other projects, both national and international. As the client we felt that Lyons was as committed to our model of care as we were throughout the design process.”

Andrew Crettenden, Executive Director, Strategy & Planning St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

Building on a domestic model

Our design for Berengarra Aged Care meets practical objectives while also delivering a comfortable, intimate domestic space to create a desirable lifestyle for both living and working. The 90 bed facility is located on the St George’s Hospital site and includes two separate three-storey dwellings with private rooms and garden outlooks. It is designed to accommodate 30 residents per floor in smaller household pods with private rooms and access to medical, rehabilitation and allied health care services. The design achieves a balance of practicality and comfort by scaling up a familiar domestic model. The materials, form and scale move away from institutional models of long-term care towards a small scale, individualised design. From the pitched gabled roof and face brickwork to homely features like custom picture rails in bedrooms, the design language continuously conveys domestic familiarity. The design also references its residential environment by reflecting the architecture of Kew. The name itself, Berengarra, means land around Kew and was worked on closely with Wurundjeri Elder Gail Smith and the SVHM Aboriginal Health Unit.

Applying a salutogenic lens to aged care

Berengarra’s design is underpinned by salutogenic principles that we implemented across numerous hospital facilities. Andrew Crettenden, Executive Director, Strategy & Planning St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne commented on our evidence-based approach saying, “Lyons’ design methodology is robust and engaging. From the beginning both DHHS and client stakeholders were engaged in the design process in a collaborative and transparent way. Importantly, Lyons also demonstrated a deep commitment to research and learning – at all times they sought out evidence-based design solutions and lessons learned / examples from other projects, both national and international. As the client we felt that Lyons was as committed to our model of care as we were throughout the design process.”

Such evidenced based salutogenic principles are crucial to the psychological health and wellbeing of both elderly patients and staff. The facility is designed to be welcoming, open and comfortable for all with ease of wayfinding a particular focus for elderly patients. Natural materials and finishes have been used throughout, with generous windows and access to natural light, air and landscaped areas. Garden spaces are designed to be highly accessible for residents and staff and are visible from each bedroom via large bay windows. Staff and back of house areas are separate from public areas for efficiency and to strengthen the home-like environment. Private Living Zones are designed for flexible configuration to accommodate different health needs and activities in each room.

Key Contacts