Waikato Hospital's Emergency Department prominently overlooks the nearby reserves, lake and urban landscape while providing expansive views to the ranges beyond maximising the outlook for users and visitors alike.
Through the use of modular cladding dimensions and window typology, richness and variety is woven into the façade of the Emergency Department. This design creates a building that is recognisable as a destination. The approach to the building is made through simple, clear and discernable connections forming a means of transition into the functions of the building and the wider hospital complex. The aesthetic meshing together of the diverse and complex requirements of the hospital functions is carried out through the use of an interwoven yet modulated façade that creates a pixellated effect.
The facade is enriched with colour and pattern. The resulting pixellated mosaic allows a human dimension to play across the surface of the building breaking down its scale and mass. This weaving on the façade is also driven by internal requirements that manifest themselves on the exterior and is adaptable and flexible to future changes in requirements.
The internal public concourse provides opportunities for a variety of spatial experiences, creating moments of interest bringing vibrancy and community interaction; it’s an internal street. It extends vertically and horizontally to create precincts and connections to various areas in the building.
Through voids cut into the ceiling, the concourse maximises natural light into the deep plan of the building while providing secure yet uplifting common spaces and connections for both the public and patients. The building forms an internal space creating an atrium for meeting, community, rehabilitation, reflection and shelter while retaining a vital link to the outside environment.
The final response allows for a homogenous design tying together the various buildings over the site while being adaptable enough to provide distinct identity to specific areas and functions of the hospital buildings.
This project was completed as a joint venture with Chow Hill and MSJ (McConnell Smith & Johnson).