Mercy Hospital Auckland Radiation Oncology (ARO)

Completion date
Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture

The design brief started from the client’s need to implement a strategy to develop and modernise the existing medical campus; this required the integration of architectural, site masterplanning, interior design and landscape architecture. The key challenge for this project was designing a new building to accommodate cancer treatment facilities and a replacement for the existing cafeteria. Equally important was the opportunity to create rational and clearly understood circulation paths (with linking and orientation nodes) making clear connections to surrounding buildings for the entire hospital.

A project undertaken with Australian-based McConnell Smith & Johnson, the ARO facility consists of 1,650 sqm of clinical space, with its core function of radiation oncology. The unit comprises of a consulting rooms, treatment planning including CT, and 3 treatment rooms. The new building combines a rationalised building form able to accommodate modern functional requirements with an elevational composition that does not dominate the remaining traditional vernacular.

Patients arrive in a generous light filled lobby space for consultation and treatment planning, then descend to the lower floor for treatment via an open glazed stair. Included in this new building and linked to the main entry is a cafeteria. Relocated from its previous position, it benefits from prime front-of-house exposure increasing the potential for public and staff clientele. Located on the north side of the Cancer Care building, it enjoys sunlight, an outdoor terrace, extensive views across Auckland and the potential to be used as a function venue.

Indoors, key issues include air quality, thermal comfort, lighting and noise control. In particular, natural ventilation and daylighting can reduce energy use and running costs while generating a healthier, more satisfying physical and visual environment for the building’s occupants - both staff and patients alike.

Masterplanning and landscape architecture combined to streamline navigation throughout the hospital, making it a more intuitive campus. Through the use of glazed vantage points within the buildings, sight-lines outside, lighting and selected planting, access ways became a safe and viable amenity for the staff and visitors. The Prendergast Link simplifies orientation and way-finding upon arrival – either from the new main entry or the carpark.

The physical environment plays an important role in improving the health and safety for staff, increasing effectiveness in providing care, reducing errors, and increasing job satisfaction. These improved outcomes may in turn, help to reduce staff turnover and strengthen staff retention – two key factors related to providing quality care in healthcare facilities.


  • 2009 NZ Property Council Award – Special Purpose Award, Excellence
Tony Dew Senior Architectural Technician - Associate Auckland
Francis Falani Architecture
Richard Harris Principal Auckland
Phone+64 9 366 9620 Mobile+64 21 775 898 Save Contact
Chris Kerr Registered Architect Auckland
Phone09 366 9626 Save Contact
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