Sydney Eye Specialist Centre by Georgina Wilson

The Sydney Eye Specialist Centre is a small private hospital located in the commercial centre of Kingsford. The project is the first stage of a two stage Redevelopment of the hospital. The new premises have expanded to include more consulting rooms, greater space for administration and a much more cohesive series of spaces whilst maintaining an elegant street address.

The core of the functional brief was to increase patient capacity and improve workflow of the Kingsford eye surgery facility, with minimal construction downtime. To address the brief and improve the quality of the patient experience, it was crucial to obtain commercial understanding of the delivery of the service provided.

The design concept addressed the patient experience by creating comfortable, non-threatening spaces, and ensuring efficient delivery of services by staff. The simple, clean lines of the building reflect the cutting edge technology that it houses, whilst warm, welcoming materials and colours generate patient trust and relieve pre-operative anxiety. The harmonious internal mood is enhanced by an artwork commissioned specifically for the site which engages the space
“through a series of lines, creating a rhythm and visual movement of quiet reflection”.

Additional capacity was achieved by demolishing the front half of the existing bungalow and erecting a new pavilion which occupies the entire front portion of the site . An intensely collaborative process between the architect, builder and client ensured minimal downtime for the surgical practice. The tight construction schedule was achieved with limited and highly planned shutdown periods for the medical practice. Prefabricated components and fast track
construction systems expedited the completion.

A complete overhaul of the entire specialised facility would have been a very uneconomical exercise, with limited benefit to the overall patient experience.

Stage 1 (now complete) included the demolition of the front of the existing building and the creation of a new pavilion on the front half of the site which houses an entry ramp, reception, waiting rooms, consulting and testing rooms, flexible space for administrative offices and meeting rooms. The existing car parking facilities and operating and laser suites were retained and refreshed. A future Stage 2 is planned, and involves rebuilding the existing operating and laser suites and car parking facilities.

The new pavilion has been designed to function alongside the future development as well as its current situation – responding to the form, materials and detailing of the largely retained rear pavilion.

The two pavilions form a unified and sensitive development within a tough urban environment that is commercial to the west and predominantly residential to the east. The design sought to respect a transition zone between the multi storey mixed use developments along Anzac Parade and the residential (primarily inter-war bungalow) character of Middle Street.

The building form, materials and detailing (including simple pitched roof forms, dark brick panels, zinc trims, articulated half round zinc gutters, steel framing, timber blinds and raw concrete blade elements) respond to, and bridge the mixed commercial and residential characters of the area in a fresh contemporary idiom. The building design also enlivens and provides constant casual surveillance of Middle Lane to the east, which has been an area known for
urban vice.

Architect: Georgina Wilson Architect
Builder: Beebo Constructions
Photographer: Murray Fredericks
Artist: Mika Utzon Popov
Completed: October 2012


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