“Decades on, we are more convinced than ever that hospital buildings can be both functional and wonderful works of architecture.”
Corbett Lyon, Director of Lyons
This early project by Lyons marked the beginning of redefining healthcare in Melbourne’s west. Completed in 2001, the Sunshine Hospital redevelopment includes a new three storey ward building and a small hydrotherapy pool. This expansion of healthcare facilities embeds a sense of optimism in the community, giving people peace of mind that healthcare is close to home. Reflecting our client’s enthusiasm and optimism, we designed a facility to transform healthcare for local communities and pave the way for more developments in the future. Decades on, we returned to the familiar territory of the Sunshine Hospital campus to deliver the Joan Kirner Women and Children’s Hospital. The Sunshine Hospital represents our ongoing commitment to evolve the architecture of healthcare for patient and staff wellbeing and for the fabric of our cities.
Department of Human Services
176 Furlong Road, St Albans, VIC, 3021
Located on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people
2002 RAIA Awards, Design Commendation Award
Sunshine Hospital is located at the centre of one of Victoria’s fastest growing communities. It serves as a local and regional catchment and has a dual role as a community hospital and as a major tertiary referral centre. The project supports the future of healthcare in Melbourne’s west by delivering services including palliative care, geriatric evaluation and management, rehabilitation and hydrotherapy. The small hydrotherapy pool that extends the existing community rehabilitation centre provides services to hospital clients and the wider community. The pool is a scaled down replica of the main ward building and is designed to evoke the familiar connotations of a community pool.
In the health sector, our primary objective is to design buildings that are supportive for patients and deliver better healthcare to our communities. Running parallel to this objective is our desire to design buildings that shape the fabric of our cities and evolve the typology of public healthcare. The Sunshine Hospital demonstrates our capacity to simultaneously deliver world-class healthcare facilities with bold architectural expression. The main facade of the building is rendered with an artificial yellow sunlight, smoothly transitioning to a reflection of a silver sky. Yellow, orange and mauve glazed bricks, in colours used by the impressionist painters, dapple the building’s taut facade in a kind of permanent sunshine. The design brings warmth and brightness to the urban landscape of Melbourne’s outer west.
Public hospitals have transformed from megastructure institutional types to buildings that strive to be patient focussed and supportive. Participating in this evolution, we designed Sunshine Hospital to have the qualities of a hotel or resort. Importantly, the design sits between domestic and public, offering a place to rest and recover with regenerative qualities. The inpatient building moves away from large floor plates and long looming corridors, instead stacking the wards. Each of the three floors has patient rooms and facilities along the perimeters with a service zone through the centre. Walls are painted in cheerful colours of green, orange and blue, and carpet is used where possible to reduce clinical connotations. Generous bay windows in the facade give patients and families spaces to sit and connect with the outside world. The palliative care unit on the ground floor offers facilities for family members spending long hours there, including a lounge and a secondary entry with a small adjacent garden.
Making public spaces