Expanding Melbourne's healthcare infrastructure

Box Hill Hospital's new 52,000 square metre facility was officially opened on on 12 August 2014. The $447.5 million redevelopment and expansion of the existing Box Hill Hospital is a vanguard project of sorts, marking the first completed facility in the current wave of new hospital projects throughout greater Melbourne which are either well into construction or due to commence.

Together these projects represent billions of dollars worth of investment into the State's health infrastructure, and rightfully so as Melbourne and Victoria's population continues to grow (and age) rapidly.

The new Box Hill Hospital Building A

Below are five large-scale hospital projects currently under construction. Clockwise they are the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Frankston Hospital Stage 3, Monash Children's Hospital, Warringal Private and Epworth Pod 4. The combined project value of these five projects represents a $1.5 billion (approx) investment into new local public and private hospitals, hundreds of new beds and the advancement in treatment and technology standards.

Ancillary to the core purpose of the structures is the design flair which has been employed. Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre holds prime position on the Haymarket roundabout and Silver Thomas Hanley/DesignInc with McBride Charles Ryan have designed an astounding building.  Lyons have produced Frankston Stage 3 while field specialist Silver Thomas Hanley are responsible for the three remaining projects.

Add the recent Royal Children's Hospital build and the internal/external design quality of Melbourne's healthcare facilities has taken a quantum leap forward.

Five Melbourne hospitals currently under construction

Upcoming projects

Healthscope have recently lodged plans for an expansion of John Fawkner Hospital located in Coburg. Works would see an expanded existing hospital, including four level extensions to both Glencairn Avenue and Jessie Street.

An expanded John Fawkner. Image © Billard Leece

In an altogether larger project Healthscope have initiated works on Knox Private Hospital's expansion with Watpac last week announcing it had been awarded an initial $45 million contract to undertake works onsite.

The overall Knox Private masterplan conceived by Woods Bagot calls for the facility to become the second largest hospital in Victoria, with online documents available via Knox City Council's website. The four-year $180 million project would see 750 construction jobs created with an additional 1000 permanent positions once the expansion is complete.

According to Knox Leader "An extra 240 beds, four new surgical wards, a new labour delivery unit, bigger emergency department and 350 extra parking spots" will be included.

Knox Private. Image © Woods Bagot

Elsewhere fringe facilities Casey Private and Epping Hospital are preparing for sizeable expansions, with Casey catering for three new buildings one of which is a second dedicated hospital. Freemasons East Melbourne is due for a $59 million expansion while Royal Melbourne's masterplan also envisages for the addition of new buildings, potentially including a 20 level tower fronting Royal Parade, thus allowing growth for on of Melbourne's most important facilities.

Lead image credit: Flood Slicer.

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