$250 Million Griffith Hospital Redevelopment Approved
The planning department of New South Wales has granted a state-significant proposal for the $250 million rehabilitation of the Griffith Base Hospital on Wiradjuri Country in the north-western Riverina region.
According to planning records, the hospital property now has more than 30 buildings “of various ages and condition.” To make space for the new hospital, the majority of these will be dismantled.
The hospital, which was designed by DJRD Architects, will house all clinical services in "a new, purpose designed building with logical zoning that incorporates contemporary models of care."
An expanded emergency department, as well as extra elderly care and rehabilitation beds, surgical theatres, and medical inpatient units, will be housed in the four-story structure. It will also increase maternity, medical imaging, paediatrics, and outpatient services capacity.
The Griffith Base Hospital is an important aspect of Griffith's urban plan, which was developed by Walter Burley Griffin in 1914 following the same approach as Canberra.
DJRD Architects says in planning documents that the city's unique radial network of tree-lined ring roadways provides an appropriate backdrop for an integrated health precinct. Griffin's initial masterplan designated the entire D-shaped block where the facility is located for a hospital. St Vincent's Private Community Hospital, a pathology centre, and a medical centre have all been subdivided for private ownership since then.
“Griffin masterfully established the potential for a health precinct while at his drawing board but his radial road planning has also enabled a hospital site with potential for multiple access points. A hospital in the round,” the architects state. “The site area of 6.4 hectares and wide street verges presents as a regional hospital in a parkland setting.”
The new clinical services facility will be built on the site's high northern part, catching southern vistas of Griffith city centre and beyond while also providing services and clinical connections to the private hospital. By expanding pedestrian trails around the property, the design intends to embrace the parkland environment and open the hospital up to the community.
An internal courtyard will “provide maximum daylight opportunities, district and nature views, provide clarity of wayfinding and reduce potential stress associated with hospital visits.”
A non-clinical service building, which was also part of the reconstruction, was just finished. Construction on the main hospital is set to begin in 2022.