Opening in February 2023, the centrepiece of the $632 million Stage 2 Campbelltown Hospital Redevelopment in South West Sydney utilises the latest thinking around healthcare and healing environments at an almost unmatched scale, resulting in the near doubling in size of the Campbelltown Hospital campus.
Designed by Billard Leece Partnership (BLP), Stage 2 is a revolution in care infrastructure.
This hospital ensures the growing community of Campbelltown is well looked after into the future,” says Tara Veldman, BLP Managing Director, Principal & Health Lead. “The new building includes adult and children’s units as well as the integration of mental health services, enabling the delivery of contemporary healthcare in a holistically designed precinct.”
Residing in Dharawal Country, the 12-storey project involved the refurbishment of existing buildings and addition of new facilities: emergency department, intensive care unit, women’s health services and maternity suites, children’s wing, state-of-the-art operating theatres and mental health unit.
A key architectural response to the planning and integration of services is the art-filled Hospital Street. This lofty indoor avenue, featuring a collection of works by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists, connects the new and existing facilities as the fulcrum from which all the hospital services are now accessed.
Filled with natural light, comfortably furnished and serviced with food and retail outlets, as well as play and recreation zones, Hospital Street is an uplifting arrival point and meeting space designed to navigate people through the hospital. The atmosphere is calm and welcoming, with a palette of organic materials acknowledging the sensory effects of space on wellbeing.
The design of Hospital Street was a game-changing moment in the project, because it unlocked the potential of the whole site, allowing us to integrate the various new wings as well as create strong new connections to light, landscape and the community,” says Adam Muggleton, BLP Principal & Project Director.
In its scale we think of it more as an airport terminal,” Muggleton adds. “The height helped us purposefully manage level changes between the existing and new facilities, and future-proofs the hospital because further additions can simply plug-in along this spine.”
Integrated mental health
A key innovation is the seven-storey integration of mental health services. The range of new spaces supports modern models of trauma-informed mental health care and include sensory rooms, de-escalation rooms, light-filled courtyards and unexpected activity rooms, such as an open-air basketball court.
Family focused child care
Another innovation is the approach to paediatrics. BLP brings more than 25 years’ healthcare expertise to the project conceptualisation, including recent experience designing five tertiary paediatric hospitals in Australia and Asia. Key learnings and research from these projects informed the development of recreational zones at Campbelltown Hospital, created specifically for the use of families with young children in hospital.
When a child is hospitalised, great strain is placed on parents and families, and stress levels reach a peak,” says Veldman. “To ensure the family unit can still function, we created dedicated parent-family centres within the confines of clinical space, encouraging comfort and connection. There’s an outdoor picnic and play area off Hospital Street and a tech-enabled workroom.”
Ongoing consultation with the Campbelltown community and local Indigenous elders shaped many aspects of the design, particularly the look and feel of key public spaces. This is managed through the materials used and links to the nearby landscape, resulting in a health-affirming and inclusive environment that welcomes a diverse mix of cultural and demographic groups.
Connections to Country
Recognising a growing body of international evidence that demonstrates the measurable impact of art on health outcomes, BLP supported a groundbreaking Indigenous art strategy at the start of the project, convening a ‘healing circle’ around which all stakeholders were invited to join the conversation and share their ambitions for the project.
Campbelltown Arts Centre was instrumental in engaging the local Dharawal community of Campbelltown, Camden and Wollondilly through regular workshops over the project life, including with well-known Aboriginal elder Uncle Ivan Wellington,” Muggleton says.
The aim was to meaningfully include respectful cultural presence into the building. To do this, visual connections with the landscape were established through the extensive use of full-height windows, allowing an abundance of natural light into areas such as the mental health services, maternity suites and public zones. Additionally, flora and fauna motifs were drawn from the surrounding Cumberland Plains and beyond. Muggleton adds:
Consultation involved a research bushwalk through the Dharawal National Park led by Aunty Deidre Martin, a Walbanga woman of the Yuin nation and an Aboriginal Discovery Ranger with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.”
Art and culture
Taking the shape of feathery helixes, the sculptural works of lead Indigenous artist Nicole Monks are suspended in Hospital Street. Monks also curated new spaces outside the hospital, including the outdoor Welcoming Stone – a beacon of safety for First Nations people inspired by the sacred birthing stone. Non-Indigenous artist Erica Seccombe created botanical drawings of endemic healing plants intertwined with native Australian wildlife, used as graphic wayfinding motifs on each level of the hospital. Her captivating illustrations have also been brought together at scale in a three-storey montage along Hospital Street.
The partnership between BLP, Health Infrastructure and Campbelltown Arts Centre, with lead Indigenous artist Nicole Monks, sets a new benchmark in art, cultural exchange and heritage,” Muggleton says. “The Campbelltown community takes a strong sense of pride and ownership in their input into the fabric of this building.”
The completion of the new clinical services building consolidates the $134 million Stage 1 expansion that began in 2016. The new round of refurbishment works has commenced in the existing hospital building, with the completion of the $632 million Stage 2 redevelopment expected in late 2023. Servicing a rapidly increasing population, which is expected to grow in South West Sydney by almost 1 million people (or 46%) over the next 20 years*, the Campbelltown Hospital is scaled for purpose, wellness and wellbeing.
Key additions – at a glance
- New clinical services building
- New women’s health and birthing services
- Increased children’s surgical, outpatient and ambulatory care services
- New family recreation spaces augmenting paediatric care
- Integrated mental health wing
- New nuclear medicine and dental services
- State-of-the-art operating theatres and intensive care unit
- Expanded emergency department and treatment spaces
- Increased access to outpatient and ambulatory care services
- Upgraded medical imaging capacity and increased cancer services
- Integrated Indigenous art and culture
- New rooftop helipad
- Multi-storey car parking
*Source: NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
Design team lead: Billard Leece Partnership (BLP)
Artists: Nicole Monks and Erica Seccombe
Landscape architect: Ground Ink
Builder: CPB Contractors
Structural and civil engineer: Enstruct Group
Brett Boardman, Anson Smart