Ballarat Community Health Primary Care Centre

The whole-of-life design concept behind this allied health clinic is based on the benefits of interaction with nature and community.

In addition to a full suite of on-site medical services and office facilities for over 100 staff, the Centre includes a gymnasium, café, conference facilities, meeting and event spaces for community use, all designed around a central indoor garden atrium.

This main circulation spine is a light-bathed pathway through the Centre, two-storeys high. Its landscaping defines multi-purpose spaces that expand or shrink for different activities, and its dramatic ‘performance stair’ doubles as seating for community events and gatherings.

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We think of healthcare projects holistically as healing environments, so it’s vital they include other activities that humanise the space, and connect people to community and nature.

Jane Sayers , Principal 103_janesayers_bw_2.jpg

Architecturally, the compact building utilises natural ventilation and overhead translucent roofing for daylighting, and its saw-tooth roof relates to regional forms.

Local materials include recycled timber and brick, metal cladding and polycarbonate, used in a contemporary way to give the Centre texture and warmth, and a unique local identity.

An indoor streetscape designed as a landscaped corridor includes interactive displays and visual access into clinical areas to move away from the closed-door approach, reinforcing messages of health and nature.

Sustainable initiatives include indoor gardens, operable windows, rainwater harvesting, solar hot water, rooftop photovoltaics and material selection that minimises off-gassing and maximises IEQ quality.

The clinic was funded jointly by the Commonwealth Government of Australia and Ballarat Community Health to increase access to quality, affordable healthcare to Ballarat and its broader district.