Health care facilities are one of the major civic infrastructures of our cities. For years, these highly specialised spaces designed to assist in the delivery of treatments to patients have solely been clinically focused in their planning. There is the opportunity for these civic buildings to contribute to the urban environment and provide spaces not only for treatment but also wellness.
The delivery of treatment is generally separated into two service streams; ‘Inpatient’ where a patient is admitted to the hospital, and secondly ‘Outpatient’ services where the patient is not admitted to hospital. In outpatient clinics, patients consult specialist medical practitioners, have diagnostic services or other procedures, or are provided with allied health or specialist nursing care.
Children’s health care facilities provide services for infants through to teenagers. The drastically varied age of patients requires the treatment spaces to be not only adaptive to physically accommodate the variety of patients, but also their developmental stage in life. The challenge for treatment spaces within a children’s hospital is to find the balance between being stimulating for infants without being alienating to teens, being robust whilst also being playful.
Students are asked to design an outpatients care facility within the current footprint of the Emergency Department at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. The outpatient facility will comprise of both generic and specific spaces that cater for the variety of treatments provided. The spaces will be designed in accordance with both the AUSHFG [Australasian Health Facility Guidelines] and The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network requirements. Due to the specialised nature of the health facilities and the challenges of a children’s health facility, students will formulate their design response based on existing health facilities, the AUSHFG and the framework of educational facilities.