The Alfred Hospital Trauma Unit

  • area / size 19,580 sqft
  • Completed 2019
  • Location Melbourne, Australia,
  • Type Hospital,
  • ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects was trusted with the design of the Alfred Hospital Trauma Unit located in Melbourne, Australia.

    Despite a remarkably tight five-month timeline for design and documentation, the design response is extremely patient-centric thanks to early and widespread stakeholder engagement, which drew on expertise from service directors, nursing staff, occupational therapists and consumer advocate groups amongst others. This gave designers an invaluable insight into the unique requirements of trauma care settings and helped them create a design that improves support for patients, families and staff in multiple ways, from better-connected, more efficient layouts to staff facilities that provide much-needed respite in a high-pressure setting. The result is a healing environment where patients and families say they appreciate the dignity the design creates and staff report a strong sense of pride in their transformed environment.

    Previously, corridors and internal spaces had limited access to natural light, making navigating the ward difficult for busy staff and patients or families requiring assistance. The re-designed 40-bed facility creates a bright, welcoming environment in which to recover, visit or work. Greater connection to natural light and improved visibility and connectivity are central to the design, which also supports greater levels of multi-disciplinary collaboration by providing connection points for staff from a range of disciplines to collaborate. In-patient bedroom doors are fully glazed, creating constant visual connectivity between staff and their vulnerable patients. Spaces connecting bedrooms and the clinical support areas incorporate welcoming seating that encourage patients get up and move around as appropriate, which is contributing to accelerated recovery on the ward. The design introduces a dedicated rehabilitation therapy room, ADL kitchen and improved procedural spaces. Sustainability is also central to the design.

    Sustainable waste management is often overlooked in hospital design, but an innovative strategy developed for the new in-patient unit helps to position The Alfred as a leader in sustainability. Adequate waste separation at the point of use requires a lot of space and this needs to be allowed for in the layouts. As a result separation of waste in multiple bin types is now available at all wash basins, utility centres, beverage bays and collaboration spaces.

    Design: ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects
    Contractor: ByDesign Construction Group
    Photography: Daniel Bordin