Last month the Queensland Government announced that Australian Unity was the winning tenderer of a new $1.1 billion comprehensive health precinct at Herston.
Known as the Herston Quarter, the proposal plans to deliver on the government’s aim to elevate Brisbane’s health credentials and cement the broader Herston Health Precinct as home to globally recognised health care, research, education, clinical trials and treatments.
The health precinct is already gaining traction as one of the world’s key medical research hubs and is set to become a showcase for other health precincts. Anchored by the state of the art Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR Berghofer), the institute has made recent breakthroughs in malaria, cancer and infectious diseases.
Last month it was announced that one of the world’s largest gene sequencing institutes, Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI), which employs 5,000 people and has 47 laboratories globally will set up their new Asia-Pacific headquarters at the Herston health precinct, bringing more jobs and vital research programs to Brisbane.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk believes the project will be a milestone in Brisbane’s history and will further enhance the world-class reputation of the broader Herston Health Precinct.
“This redevelopment will cement Brisbane’s position as a truly international city, with a health and research precinct that will help Queensland to attract and retain the best clinicians, health workers, researchers, academics and students,” she said.
As part of Australian Unity’s redevelopment, a new $275 million Specialist Rehabilitation and Ambulatory Care Centre (SRACC) will be constructed in a new building adjacent to the QIMR Berghofer building.
The SRACC is a brand new model of care for Queensland which will specialise in long stay acute rehabilitation patients, improving health service efficiency and help to reduce hospital waiting lists.
SRACC will comprises of the following facilities:
- 100 rehabilitation beds
- Special purpose rehabilitation support areas
- A surgical and endoscopic centre with a 32 bed surgical inpatient room
- Seven operating theatres
- Three endoscopy rooms and recovery spaces
Construction of SRACC is anticipated to begin in 2017 and become fully operational in 2020.
Australian Unity has announced that the design partner for the precinct will be Hassell which will be responsible for ongoing architectural, urban design, landscape architecture and interior design services throughout the design and construction phases of Herston Quarter.
Hassell Principal Adam Davies believes the master plan will allow the future Herston Quarter to integrate more broadly into the surrounding Herston suburb.
“Thousands of workers, patients and visitors use the Herston precinct on a daily basis. This new piece of the city will invite human interaction through a generosity of public realm, open spaces, safe connections and a new retail, food and beverage offer.
“The Herston Quarter master plan will deliver a range of new health, research and education uses, complemented by residential, child care, consulting and a wellbeing precinct providing high quality accommodation and wellness facilities for an aging population,” Adam said.
Architecture & Heritage
The development will ensure five heritage buildings are retained and framed by new buildings to provide accessibility and permeability that will connect the hospital precinct.
Hassell Principal Kevin Lloyd said the refurbishment of the heritage core will respectfully enliven a forgotten piece of Brisbane’s heritage.
“These buildings will be sensitively restored and adapted for new uses, recognising their historic importance as some of the earliest examples of health architecture in Queensland,” he said.
The master plan works with the site’s challenging geology and topography. The Spanish Steps, rising from the Herston Road frontage to the top of the Heritage Core, will be a key piece of the public space that will connect the old and new parts of the Quarter.
“The architectural intent for the Quarter was very much about celebrating the civic qualities of our city’s public and institutional buildings. It also recognises the importance of creating a place that promotes wellness and recovery through an integrated approach to public realm,” said Kevin.
Along with the planned healthcare related developments, Herston Quarter will also include retirement living, student accommodation, aged care as well as standard residential apartments.
More information can be found on the Herston Quarter website: http://herstonquarter.com.au/.
Whilst this looks like an exciting development, I find it rather concerning that none of the local residents of Herston have been consulted on this development.