Bendigo Hospital Project

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  • 2019

  • Architectural
    Urban

Designed By:

  • OCULUS and Paul Thompson
  • with Bates Smart
  • and Silver Thomas Hanley

Commissioned By:

Exemplar Health and the State Government of Victoria

Designed In:

Australia

The new Bendigo Hospital is the largest regional hospital development in Victoria. The $AUD 630 million Victorian Government project delivers world-class healthcare facilities and a 13-hectare precinct development, with a strong sense of place, and a positive, inviting environment that promotes wellbeing for patients, staff, visitors and the community.


  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • The Bendigo Hospital Project was delivered as a public-private partnership (PPP) under the State Government’s Partnerships Victoria policy from a world class brief to design for patients, staff, visitors and the community. Combining architecture and design, health planning, landscape architecture, engineering and construction, a highly collaborative and engaged design process was overseen by the Office of the Victorian Government Architect, who provides strategic advice to government to enhance the quality of the built environment in Victoria. The main design challenges combined: scale and diversity of public spaces, topography, safety in design and valuable stakeholder and community engagement.

  • The 13-hectare precinct includes an integrated network of nearly 50 accessible and inaccessible green roofs, roof decks, balconies, and courtyards and a diversity of external public spaces nestled between readdressed heritage buildings and significant trees, with an introduction of increased canopy cover and green links providing a high quality inviting public realm. Participation was a major driver in the design process through extensive engagement with Bendigo Health’s user groups and the State Government.

  • The hospital is a significant civic building, integrating a holistic framework considering the needs of patients, staff and the community, to create a tranquil and caring environment through the integration of architecture, landscaping, health planning and evidence-based design. Choice is important in the design of healthcare environments to minimize stress, so a diversity of community, collaborative and private spaces was provided throughout the building and an integrated network of nearly 50 accessible and inaccessible green roofs, roof decks, balconies, and courtyards (including 20 mental health courtyards) as well as an array of public external spaces.

  • The development recognises the region’s significant cultural heritage, the history and traditions of the Chinese and Indigenous communities. The team worked closely with the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation through the ‘Closing the Gap’ initiative, which seeks to minimize stress and create a more welcoming environment to help improve Aboriginal people's access to health care. The hospital’s Aboriginal Services Courtyard includes a fire pit and local indigenous plants enabling cultural practice and education. Within the broader precinct, an aboriginal garden incorporates more local indigenous planting and celebrates a valuable cultural artefact, a relocated scarred tree. The planting design was completed in collaboration with the community and the garden construction created community employment opportunities. We worked closely with the Bendigo Art Gallery and several artists on the integration of site specific public artworks, located across the precinct and within the hospital. The design team also engaged with the City of Greater Bendigo regarding the precinct’s existing and proposed trees and broader civic engagement. Julie Andrews’ mural for a mental health courtyard depicts a regional landscape and creates opportunities for patients themselves to draw.