James Mo

James Mo, who is studying at The Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, was shortlisted in the Architects for Health’s First Student Health Design Award (2007) for the following submission. For contact please email:james.mo@lyonsarch.com.au

The Healsville & District Hospital, Australia

This a a thesis project (equivalent to RIBA part 2) completed at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Melbourne, Victoria Australia in 2006 under the supervision of Dr. Peter Corrigan.

The site chosen is at the existng Healsville & District Hospital, a small rural hospital operating beyond the range of metropolitan Melbourne. The location of the new hospital is directly to the north of the existing building. This allows the hospital to operate while the new hospital is under construction. The proposed building sits on the upper part of a slope, which falls to the north. The terrain is gently inclined and it faces north which allows it to receive optimal solar exposure and to enjoy a particular view.

Healthcare in Australia has changed significantly over the last few decades and the traditional hospital model on acute and hospital based services are no longer appropriate in responding to the community needs. They are isolated, sterile and clinical, and conceived in strict opposition to nature, neither welcoming nor accessible to the public.

In establishing a meaningful dialogue width the patients, visitors and the community. I proposes a new model for the community based hospital: the ‘integrated health services’, bringing together acute (bed based services and emergency), aged (day care centre) and community-based services (primary health). The services included are:

Connecting indoor and outdoor space This building is conceived inside-out. The three courtyards is to maximise the natural air and lights in the hospital. I wanted the interior space to feel fresh and open to the nature. Every ward to have a balcony with views to the surrounding scenic landscape, allowing patients and family to relax in the seamless transition to the nature.

Creating a humane environment with emphasis on wellness & healing The facility is design to encourage patients to take on a more active-lifestyle and not refraining them from going outside: the ‘bed-based services’ ramp leads to the landscaped garden (downwards) and to the rooftop balcony (upwards). Generous space (lounge and dining) are design to encourage iinteraction between patients, staff and visitors, family participation and create a more enjoyable working environment.

Diversify of functional and hypothetical space This strategy is to better serve and re-establish dialogue with the patients, visitors and the community of this hospital. The programs intermingle with each other, (physio/gym, dining, lounges and courtyards are available to all users) to create a more users-friendly place.

The Architects for Health
First Student Health Design Award
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