Ballarat Community Health Primary Care Centre is a timeless sustainable design

The ‘landscaped spine’ runs through the centre of the building, defining spaces for either passive or active use.

Community + Recreation | Health + Aged Care | Melbourne | Projects | Sustainable

1 July 2019

DesignInc’s commitment to sustainability is as evident in our recent projects as it is in our older works and Ballarat Community Health Primary Care Centre (BCHPCC) is proof of this. The building was completed in mid-2014 and to this day delivers quality and affordable healthcare to the broader Ballarat and district community.

Biophilic design may not have been as popular a term back then as it is now, but this project undeniably champions a connection to nature in order to improve the wellbeing of patients and staff. Our design positions a double-height atrium as a ‘landscaped spine’ that runs through the centre of the building, defining the spaces around it for either passive or active use. Natural ventilation, sunlight and a series of internal gardens therefore characterise the overall scheme. A dramatic performance stair rises up at the end of the spine and supports a program of rich and diverse community events. The ability to open up adjacent multipurpose spaces allows the spine to expand or contract as required, while extending the atrium’s rectangular plan upwards.

BCHPCC’s interior has a timeless quality as much for its sustainable design approach as for its elegantly understated aesthetic. Recycled timber and brick are used liberally throughout the atrium, providing a stark contrast to the cool and sterile ambience usually associated with clinical environments. Along with steel and polycarbonate, these materials are also used on the facility’s exterior, where a ‘roof meets landscape’ profile makes the building appear all the more deeply embedded in its context. The design ultimately succeeds for celebrating a spirit of community and connectivity, which is imperative to people’s wellbeing, especially in a small rural setting.

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