2017 National Architecture Awards: Public Architecture Award

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Sunshine Coast University Hospital by Architectus Brisbane and HDR Rice Daubney as Sunshine Coast Architects.

Sunshine Coast University Hospital by Architectus Brisbane and HDR Rice Daubney as Sunshine Coast Architects. Image: Chris Wardle

Sunshine Coast University Hospital by Architectus Brisbane and HDR Rice Daubney as Sunshine Coast Architects.
Public Architecture: National Award
Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

The Sunshine Coast University Hospital is a major work with over seven hundred beds, located in the “canal country” behind Kawana Beach. Serviced by convenient bus and car drop-off, the forecourt, on the alignment of Florey Boulevard, is a space of dappled light, of people lounging on lawns, of slatted bridges, battened lecture theatres and “fritted” glass roofs. This is a sensitive response to both Sunshine Coast culture and its vernacular architecture, giving a tranquil first impression.

The geometry of the streets becomes the geometry of the hospital circulation. On one side of the forecourt is the Hub, with teaching spaces and a lecture theatre, and on the other the foyer and main hospital street opening onto the large main courtyard. The main courtyard and five smaller courts in the west block keep patients, visitors and staff in touch with nature.

Major hospitals, once seen as complexes for doctors and nurses with patients as “cases,” are now seen as cities where the patient is the citizen – with rooms, not wards, allowing family to be there and allowing for seamless teaching and learning. This project is a demonstration of the value of patient- centred hospitals, responding here in both form and content to its place in subtropical Queensland.

Sunshine Coast University Hospital was reviewed by Michael Keniger in Architecture Australia Sept/Oct 2017.


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