Victorian Heart Hospital wins international design award

Looking up at the facade of the Victorian Heart Hospital from the central courtyard.

In August 2023, the Victorian Heart Hospital achieved yet another milestone. Only this wasn’t a patient, clinical or operational milestone, rather a nod to the hospital’s distinctive design.

Monash Health’s Victorian Heart Hospital has been named the winner of an Inde Award for the best design in the Health and Wellbeing Space.

The Victorian Heart Hospital is the southern hemisphere’s first dedicated cardiac hospital, integrating clinical cardiology services, research and education to create a centre of excellence.

As per the Inde Awards, “The architecture, interiors, facility and clinical planning consider the impact of the built environment on the health and wellness of users and was guided by strong clinical and patient voices. This is a valuable place within the university campus and wider community with its capacity to save and change lives.”

“A complete journey has been embedded into the VHH, from admission to discharge. The design contributes to the wellbeing of all and aids patient recovery through its spatial qualities, amenity and materiality. The design provides spaces clinical in function and non-clinical in environment. Landscaping within a health and wellness setting has well-established clinical benefits. To sustain and extend the human experience of the VHH, the building has a large central courtyard – the ‘gravitational heart’ – maximising opportunities for engagement with the outdoors and surrounding landscape.”

“Future flexibility was a key – both in relation to space planning and the incorporation of building services and structural systems that are adaptable to future emerging clinical care technologies, fluctuating patient needs, evolving healthcare regulations, and sustainability.”

The Victorian Heart Hospital is a joint venture design by Australian architecture and design practice Conrad Gargett and architecture studio Wardle Australia. The collective describes the process of designing the project.

“The Victorian Heart Hospital (VHH) design emphasises enhancing the human experience by connecting the mind and body with multi-sensory and enriching environments. Guided by biophilic design principles and a salutogenic approach, the architecture, interiors, facility planning, and clinical planning consider the built environment’s impact on the health and wellness of patients, clinicians, staff, researchers, students, carers and visitors.”

“At the centre of VHH, an open and heavily landscaped courtyard garden provides space for occupying and for the visual relief of nature across the 8-stories. The courtyard allows natural light to permeate throughout the surrounding spaces forming a gravitational heart that clarifies circulation patterns, democratises departments and articulates public spaces. The circular form punctuates the otherwise rectilinear planning activating and connecting the community of VHH together for rest, respite or a daily walk.”

The Victorian Heart Hospital accepted its first patients in February 2023. Once fully operational, each year the Victorian Heart Hospital will provide 28,000 emergency patient assessments, 10,000 interventional cardiac catheterisation procedures, and 2,000 open heart surgeries.

The Inde Awards are design awards recognising best in class across the Indo-Pacific, and celebrate the best and most creative design work of the year.  

Approved by Louise Kanis, Executive Director, Communication and Engagement