Gandel Wing, Cabrini Malvern

Bates Smart


The Gandel Wing combines state-of-the-art facilities with a nurturing and human centric environment. The new wing rises seven-storeys with three levels of basement carparking, a radiotherapy bunker, and 152 beds. The team were provided with information that the average age of patients was older than elsewhere in Australia. Therefore, a key aspect of the response was to ensure new levels of safety and amenity with decisions made through the lens of the patient first. The design approach began with improving the patient experience. Salutogenic principles provided a touchstone, with research demonstrating that patient access to the natural world improves wellbeing.

The design team worked directly with medical teams to create mock-ups of clinical and medical workspaces, ensuring medical necessities were not spared in the motivation for outstanding design. The directionality of the screen provides optimal views from the bed to nature, yet is angled away from the adjacent residential dwellings to maintain further privacy. At the same time, the colour complements the masonry of the adjacent 1960s hospital buildings, creating a harmonious health campus. Internal research highlighted that falls occurred most between the bed and ensuite, therefore each room is designed with a direct sightline from bed to bathroom, coupled with sensor activated illuminated handrails and indirect pelmet lighting to reduce ambiguity at night. Bespoke joinery employs a reductive natural palette of materials, concealing medical services panels and clinical equipment. The natural palettes and soothing natural light produces a warm comforting ambience and serene healing experience.

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