Whitty Building wins Silver for Conservation at National Trust Awards

Conrad Gargett is pleased to announce the Whitty Building Redevelopment Project was bestowed a Silver Heritage Award for Conservation at this year’s National Trust Queensland Heritage Awards held at Brisbane City Hall on 20th May 2017.

Designed by prominent architect Robin Dods of Brisbane architectural firm, Hall and Dods and constructed in 1911 as the first Mater Misericordiae Public Hospital, the heritage-listed building has been refurbished to create a modern facility conducive to collaborative learning, while maintaining its architectural features, including original pressed metal ceilings and stained glass windows.

The $30 million redevelopment, completed in April 2016, is the result of an alliance between The University of Queensland and Mater Health Services providing a unique teaching environment for UQ nursing and midwifery students.

Director, Rebecca Moore received the award on behalf of Mater Health, UQ and Conrad Gargett. “The award is great honour, and a testament to a great team who worked on the project – Lada Bodnaruk, Ben Grassick, Rhianna Oxhnam, Quoc Au, Michael Scott and many others that contributed over the project history” she said.


Originally known as Mater Public Hospital building, established by The Sisters of Mercy, the site is listed on the Brisbane City Council’s Local Heritage Register as ‘Mater Misericordiae Hospital’. The Whitty Building has significant historical value as it was the original Mater Public Hospital opened in 1911 and was designed by prominent architect Robin Dods of Brisbane architectural firm, Hall and Dods. The layout of the original wards edged by naturally ventilated verandahs was based on the ‘Nightingale’ ward design and is recognized for its butterfly ‘X’ plan – it is this form that is particularly rare to this building type and that is considered significant.

 The heritage-listed Whitty Building was only Brisbane’s second public hospital when it opened more than a century ago, and remained used for clinical practice until 1981. The building has since largely been used for administrative and outpatient services however, has now been restored to serve as Clinical Education facility for The University of Queensland. The Whitty building operated as the Mater Public Hospital until the hospital relocated into the current Mater Hospital Brisbane in December 1981. After the Hospital relocated, the functions of the Whitty Building changed and became known as the “Central Administration Building” housing over the years departments such as Pastoral Care, Volunteers, Biomedical Engineering, Hotel Services, HR, Payroll, Data Centres, as well as eye and diabetes clinics.

 Since its construction in 1911, the development of the Whitty Building over the past 100 years has been chronologically summarised in the Conservation Management Plan 2007 by Riddel Architecture, and further detailed in the ‘Conservation Protocol’ document 2010 by Andrew Ladlay Architect.

The Conservation Works category at the National Trust Queensland Heritage Awards are presented for projects that guide the conservation of Queensland’s heritage places and projects that demonstrate excellence in undertaking conservation works to heritage places in Queensland, such as buildings, gardens and archaeological sites, as well as large moveable heritage objects such as vehicles.  These Awards aim to recognise the valuable contribution of owners, consultants, builders and trades people.

Conrad Gargett also had nominations for the recently completed All Saints Anglican Church Columbarium and The River Room at Brisbane Customs House.

Click here for more information about the Whitty Building Redevelopment Project.