The Royal Children’s Hospital designed by Billard Leece Partnership and Bates Smart won the Interior Design Excellence & Innovation award at the 2012 Australian Interior Design Awards.
Melbourne’s $1 billion Royal Children’s Hospital uses innovative and evidence-based design principles to reflect changing healthcare practices, workplace patterns, user expectations, community aspirations and environmental responsibility. The overall design of the interiors is underpinned by the therapeutic benefits of nature in the healing process. The design story is derived from forms, patination and colour that have been mapped directly from the natural world to form an enriching and restorative environment for children, staff and the public. Considered detailing invites the human touch and de-institutionalizes the hospital genre. At the heart of the hospital is the six-storey Main Street, a naturally lit public thoroughfare that links all the elements of the hospital together and seamlessly integrates it with the parkland beyond. The approach to colour is intrinsically linked to the wayfinding strategy, which celebrates the many landscapes that make up the state of Victoria. Colours derived from the environment define each level and have been applied in a coordinated approach, from signage through to environmental graphics, paint, joinery, vinyl, furniture and soft furnishings. The result is an engaging and coherent, joyful and uplifting range of interiors.
The quality of awarded projects in the primary categories was very high. In presenting the award for Interior Design Excellence and Innovation for 2012 to the Royal Children’s Hospital, the jury wishes to also acknowledge the excellence of Vue de Monde in setting a new standard for Australian design identity. The interior design of the Royal Children’s Hospital will extend the experience of the power of interiors into the public realm further than any other project this year. The designers are to be congratulated on this highly complex, technical, responsive and, above all, beautiful hospital interior.