Bendigo Hospital

Silver Thomas Hanley in collaboration with Bates Smart


The Victorian Government's $630 million Bendigo Hospital provides a welcoming, holistic and positive environment that promotes wellbeing. Therapeutic, calming and healing environments theoretically conflict with the fast paced, clinical needs of a hospital. The strategy for Bendigo Hospital overcame this by celebrating the importance of nature and its positive impact on wellbeing. Connecting with the local region was also an important consideration with regards to the interior design.

Bendigo Hospital considers the building and landscape as an integrated whole and the interior design references the region within the internal clinical environment. The hospital delivers world-class facilities and creates a tranquil environment that considers the needs of patients, staff and community.

The design connects with the location in a multitude of ways. Graphics and colour are used extensively expressing the topography, landscape and palette of nearby regions. Colours are combined with abstracted aerial photographs of local landscapes to form textures and patterns. These graphics are then used within clinical departments to impart a regional connectivity.

Hospital rooms and circulation spaces have a direct connection with nature, whether it be in the form of landscaped views, external garden spaces, internal courtyards, landscapes roofs or planted screens.

In the main public space, a woven timber ceiling filters daylight and provides dappled light. The use of timber and the quality of light generated provides a sense of warmth and helps to increase wellbeing for patients, staff and visitors. The intricate ceiling is complemented by the inclusion of three native trees that help to enhance the biophilic ethos of the building.

Artworks in the main public areas impart vibrant energy. A work by Noel Skrzypczak references the geological story of the local area, while another by Esther Stewart, provides a colourful and joyful point of interest.

Bendigo Hospital integrates sustainable thinking into all design elements in order to create a healing and therapeutic environment for all users. Sustainability was one of the eight design components used to guide the project to become a world-class facility, with the aim to provide a healthier environment within the building to patients and staff, and a healthier physical environment to the broader community and region.

People are often under stress when visiting hospitals and it is essential to create spaces that make people feel at ease. Bendigo Hospital demonstrates the power of design to positively impact the health and wellbeing of people.

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