Barwon Health North, Health Hub

An innovative, integrated and community-focused health and wellbeing hub.

As a community health ‘hub’, Barwon Health North offers a new model of care, situated within a leisure and community precinct in the northern suburbs of Geelong.

The new ambulatory care centre houses several specialist practices including mental health support, dialysis treatment, medical imaging, urgent care and pharmacy. As a community centred healthcare hub situated only a few steps away from the Corio Library, Centenary Hall and Waterworld Leisure Centre, the civic scale and presence of the building connects healthcare with community wellbeing and leisure.

The health hub is an innovative model for care that balances personal autonomy, dignity and freedom of choice with safety and security for patients and visitors. At the entrance, a feature red brick entry canopy directs visitors to the check-in kiosks and service counter. The foyer space decked with warm timber surfaces and bursts of colour maximises natural light and outside views. The absence of common elements in institutionalised health facilities, such as physical barriers and lengthy service queues, creates a welcoming space that feels safe and friendly.

Running the length of the building is a streetscape of compartmentalised waiting areas; casually scattered along a window edge are armchairs with built in bench seats, chairs and tables. Above is a canopy of green brick that flows from the building’s exterior through to the interior, and double height glazing from the waiting area opens to the exterior public space, welcoming all members of the community with open arms.

With some parts of the building operating 24 hours a day, the spatial planning and staging of public to private spaces benefits both patients and healthcare providers alike with allocated all-access public areas and streamlined security access points for rooms such as discreet needle disposal. Optimal building operations prove advantageous to the wellbeing of healthcare workers with staff facilities including private and shared offices, generous amenities, and a private outdoor staff ‘retreat’ on the first-floor terrace.

Location – Norlane, Victoria
Client – Department of Health and Human Services/Barwon Health
Area – 3,000sqm
Completed – 2019

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Barwon Health North, Health HubLeanda Chia