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Architecture For Health Environments


Tamworth Hospital Redevelopment, NSW

Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre, VIC

Cairns Base Hospital, QLD

Currently under construction and due for completion in April 2015, the Tamworth Hospital Redevelopment involves the refurbishment of existing buildings and the construction of a new, 5-storey hospital building, which will provide a hub for medical, surgical and other specialties in the region. It will also provide consultancy outreach and support for chronic and complex disease management across the whole community.

Located to the north east of Melbourne in Heidelberg, the Olivia Newton John Cancer and Wellness Centre, was designed in association with Jackson Architecture. Completed in 2012, the Centre offers a comprehensive, stand alone cancer service with strong connections to the existing Austin Hospital infrastructure. The new facility conveys a welcoming domestic environment and consolidates patient services to include a comprehensive Radiation Oncology service, outpatient clinics, chemotherapy treatment as well as acute and palliative care inpatient units.

The tropical seaside location for Cairns Hospital redevelopment provided a picturesque site for the successful MSJ joint venture with Jackson Architects, Brisbane and Fisher Buttrose Architects, Cairns. Linking Lake Street and The Esplanade via a landscaped breezeway to the entrance, the Hospital includes 531 beds, 54 Ambulatory Care Beds and 13 Operating Theatres. The new building seamlessly integrates the renovation and expansion of four existing buildings to provide additional cardiac care facilities, day surgery unit, new specialist clinics and pathology services, an integrated mental health unit, a comprehensive cancer care unit as well as new radiation oncology services.

MSJ engaged in a strategic urban planning solution within the spatially tight and complex site to produce a scheme that responds to the steeply falling site while allowing the campus to function during construction. The tapestry of external wall panels responds to the diverse hospital functions required on each floor and the palette of colour refers to the rustic landscape of Tamworth, the diversity of its inhabitants and its indigenous community.

Major Services: Master Plan, Architecture and Interior Design Anticipated Completion: 2015 Client: NSW Health & Infrastructure Value: $220m

Major Services: Master Plan, Feasibility, Architecture and Interior Design Client: Austin Health Completion: 2012 Value: $187m Awards: Acute Care Honourable Mention at the Healthcare Environment Awards USA, 2013 BPN Sustainability Awards Public Building and Urban Design Finalist 2014 AIRAH Awards Finalist in Excellence in Sustainability 2014

Major Services: Master Plan, Feasibility, Architecture and Interior Design Client: Queensland Health Completion: Stage 1 2013, Stage 2 2015 Value: $450m Awards: High Commendation in Steel Excellence 2014


Belconnen Community Centre, ACT

Ingham Health Research Institute, NSW

Blacktown School of Medicine, Clinical School & Research Centre, NSW

MSJ was commissioned to assist the Capital Asset Development Plan with briefing skills and master planning to ensure the availability, viability and safety of future health care facilities in the ACT region. Additionally, MSJ was engaged for the design and documentation of Belconnen Community Centre (BCC). The BCC represents the largest of the several centres developed, accommodating multi-disciplinary clinics, dental suites, physiotherapy and renal dialysis clinics and x-ray rooms.

Located on a corner with tight street frontages opposite Liverpool Hospital, the Ingham Health Research Institute (IHRI) abuts the existing Health Services Building (HSB) in Campbell Street

MSJ’s design for the new School of Medicine, Clinical School & Research Centre presents a public face to the role of UWS at Blacktown Hospital. To provide a campus identity for the students, expert medical teachers, researchers and staff, the diverse functions of the overall complex and the two planning stages of the design were arranged around a central courtyard.

While the separate entrance pavilion addresses Lathlain Street, the curved form of the main building responds to the sweep of Cohen Street. To reduce the apparent length and scale of the Cohen Street elevation, which curves from the north to the north-east, the sun control of the two overlapping façades, responds respectively to the changing aspect.

The northern pitch of the roof orients photovoltaic panels to the sun while sun shading is tailored in design to address the north and east elevations. To minimise low summer sun glare from the east and the west along the southern elevation, a steel structure supports an elegantly folded aluminium screen and a glazed awning.

Major Services: Master Plan, Feasibility, Architecture and Interior Design Client: Thinc Health Completion: 2013 Value: $51m Architects in association with May Russell

Strategically positioned next to common areas and meeting rooms to enhance research collaboration, each lobby space provides a highly functional, interactive environment for staff emerging from the administration floor, biological research unit and laboratories, which include two ‘dry’ PC-2 floors and one ‘wet’ PC-3 floor.

The School’s lobby links the 161 seat lecture theatre, servery kitchen and student common room with tutorial rooms, administration offices and a library through a central stairwell. Public spaces within the glazed lobby of the Research Centre are arranged to encourage collaborative interaction between the three floors, which accommodate clinical trials, administration, wet labs and dry labs. The centre was officially opened by the Prime Minister in October 2011.

Major Services: Master Plan, Feasibility, Architecture and Interior Design

Major Services: Architecture, Interior Design and Site Inspection

Client: Ingham Health Research Institute

Client: University of Western Sydney

Completion: 2012

Completion: 2011

Value: $35m

Value: $24m Award: Master Builders Award 2011


Established over sixty years ago, McConnel Smith & Johnson is a Sydney based multidisciplinary architecture practice working across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. MSJ’s design reputation illustrates a diversity of both scale and typology of built form. Implementing ideas from large to small, MSJ’s balanced approach to function and architecturally considered space is especially evidenced by our team’s expertise across the health sector.

Ian Moon Director BArch (Hons) NSWIT

Mark Willett Director BArch (Hons) NSWIT RAIA

John Zadro Director BArch (USyd)

Kathy Lakis Senior Associate BArch UNSW MDIA

Ian’s diverse experience over the last 25 years has included upgrades to existing complex health campuses and the design of new major teaching and referral hospitals. More recently Ian has focused on the master planning and feasibility phases for large health projects in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Ian’s detailed knowledge and understanding of various procurement options and their implication on the design capital cost and recurrent costs of health campuses has enabled him to complete various roles for Government and private bodies as expert advisor and reviewer.

Mark Willett is a highly innovative architect and urban designer with a extensive background of experience as MSJ’s Design Director on major institutional projects, including health. He has thirty-five years experience working in the conceptual and planning stages of a project and in this role provides innovative design leadership. Mark’s most recent experience includes Blacktown Clinical School and Research Centre, Cairns Base Hospital, Tamworth Hospital, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Bernie Banton Centre and Ingham Health Research Institute.

John Zadro is responsible for implementing design documentation and coordination on MSJ’s health projects. His experience includes major teaching hospitals and specialised health facilities, involving research and education in New South Wales, Queensland and New Zealand. Performing a key role within MSJ’s design team, John is highly experienced in liaison with hospital representatives & user groups across a range of clinical disciplines and departments.

Kathy is an architect and interior designer with extensive experience in MSJ’s major health and other institutional projects. Kathy takes principal responsibility for interior design and its co-ordination and integration into the architectural concept. She is able to synthesise architectural and interior concepts and requirements at all stages of design development on projects of differing size and focus.

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McConnel Smith & Johnson 35 Richards Avenue, Surry Hills NSW 2010 Australia

Architecture for Health Environments  
Architecture for Health Environments  

Architecture for Health Environments showcases the major health design projects from McConnel Smith & Johnson Architects.