About the project
The Victorian Heart Hospital is the southern hemisphere’s first dedicated cardiac hospital. Our highly collaborative and robust design approach brings together innovative and best practice health care design to deliver an integrated hospital, research and learning environment dedicated to world-leading cardiovascular research, care and specialised life-saving procedures for our community.
Closely located to Monash Medical Centre, teams at the Victorian Heart Hospital have ready access to world-leading expertise in obstetrics, nephrology, intensive care and many other specialities. The proximity and shared networks provide patients with health issues beyond heart disease the best possible care.
The co-location of Monash University’s Training, Education and Research and Monash Health’s Monash Cardiovascular Research Centre within the Victorian Heart Hospital embeds education, training and research in clinical areas.
The Victorian Heart Hospital (VHH) design emphasises enhancing the human experience by connecting the mind and body with multi-sensory and enriching environments. Guided by biophilic design principles and a salutogenic approach, the architecture, interiors, facility planning, and clinical planning consider the built environment’s impact on the health and wellness of patients, clinicians, staff, researchers, students, carers and visitors.
At the centre of VHH, an open and heavily landscaped courtyard garden provides space for occupying and for the visual relief of nature across the 8-stories. The courtyard allows natural light to permeate throughout the surrounding spaces forming a gravitational heart that clarifies circulation patterns, democratises departments and articulates public spaces. The circular form punctuates the otherwise rectilinear planning activating and connecting the community of VHH together for rest, respite or a daily walk.
Core to all experiences at VHH is the buildings functionality, enabling a seamless work day, environments that supported patient care, provide dynamic learning spaces and welcome visitors and carers. The hospital is organised in three vertical layers based on public to private uses and linked by a rational network of passageways connecting to departments and outdoor spaces.
Between the gravitational heart at the building’s centre and the extremities of its circulation are the clinical spaces designed to be calming, with services and structure carefully integrated for the best patient experience. The circulation avoids closed ends, and all primary routes extend to the façade to assist orientation, and improve amenity.
Sustainable initiatives consider a building that will endure, provide comfort and accommodate future expansion with reduced impact. As a facility that never closes, the implementation of resilient and energy efficient systems minimize the environmental impact of VHH.
Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) strategies focused on a high-performance building envelope, energy efficient engineering systems and occupant wellbeing. The façade is a culmination of high-performance ESD initiatives. Architectural shading, glazing and window systems, thermal bridging mitigation, reduced façade air leakage and testing, and increased insulation (beyond NCC 2016 minimums) improve indoor thermal and acoustic comfort for the benefit of the VHH community. The façade also works to reduce cooling and heating loads, HVAC plant capacity, fan and pump motors, ductwork, risers and pipework sizing, ongoing HVAC energy consumption and the ongoing utility costs (electricity and gas).
The connection and reinforcement of landscape is a key part of the experience at the hospital. The building footprint is rotated in plan to fit within the tree lines and the approach to new landscape is layered and nuanced. Preservation of existing trees is prioritised and underpinned by an aboricultural assessment of the precinct.
Located adjacent to the Monash University sports fields VHH is conceived as a hospital-in-a-park and is characterised by an inspired material palette – consistently civic, robust and non-institutional. Emphasising vertical textures that are derived from native bush patterns, and rhythms of trunks and foliage, colour tones are selected to connect to nature and external materials settle into the context by developing a natural patina over time due to weathering.
The Victorian Heart Hospital is designed and delivered in partnership with Wardle.
2023 AIA Architecture Awards — Shortlist Public Architecture
2023 INDE.Award — The Health and Wellbeing Space