Our design for the multi-million dollar Greenspace project in Perth, Australia, officially announced this week by the Western Australian Health Minister, the Hon. Amber-Jade Sanderson MLA is created to cultivate well-being within the largest medical precinct in the southern hemisphere.
Located next to the Perth Children’s Hospital at the QEII Medical Centre situated on Noongar land, the project is inspired by the healing energy of Country.
As the most extensive medical precinct in the southern hemisphere, the QEII Medical Centre is home to 40 health-related organisations and facilities with approximately 15,000 staff and visitors daily.
Principal Anthony Brookfield says the design for Greenspace focuses on creating a place where children, their families and visitors can fully immerse themselves within nature and the rich cultural narrative that is special to the site.
“This is a vital open space at the campus,” says Anthony. “Our design seeks to create a culturally stimulating landscape experience for all users and draws upon the essence of Kings Park, creating a garden infused with nature.”
“The improved Greenspace will benefit the health and well-being of patients, families and staff. It will provide clinical opportunities using the play-space to compliment physiotherapy and occupational therapy.”
WA Health Minister, Hon. Amber-Jade Sanderson
The creation of Greenspace has been guided by Aboriginal cultural advisors Barry McGuire and Carol Innes who “hope the design will inspire connections to Country and each other, and facilitate opportunities for play, respite, learning and discovery.”
“Greenspace will be a place for young people and their loved ones to spend time together and make cherished memories while enduring the challenges of a diagnosis,” says Carol.
“Working with our cultural advisors and friends Barry McGuire and Carol Innes, we have layered Greenspace with stories of place, plants and animals, which are vital for sustaining health and wellness,” says Anthony.
FIRST NATIONS INSPIRED
Greenspace comprises four zones appreciative of Aboriginal culture and the local habitat. These include:
• A natural learning precinct that offers educational opportunities on native flora, fauna and Aboriginal culture.
• A nature play-space that offers a sense of fun and normality away from the clinical hospital environment. The ability to escape the confines of the hospital helps achieve a greater sense of well-being for patients, which is vital for maintaining psychological health in those dealing with childhood illnesses.
• An entertainment space for performers and/or outdoor events.
• A relaxation space for patients, visitors, and staff.
Woven into the design are Aboriginal themes and storylines. These include a Koodjal Noorn (two snakes) discovery path, shelter pods honouring the six Noongar seasons and playground cubbies referencing Noongar mia-mias. There’s also an arbour experience referencing a snake’s skin associated with health and regeneration and a climbing net depicting the web of the trapdoor spider, a unique Aboriginal story connected to King’s Park.
The project has been made possible through the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation in partnership with Rio Tinto, BGIS, Hassell, Soft Earth cultural advisers and the QEII Medical Centre Trust.