Chris O’Brien Lifehouse

Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse | Camperdown, New South Wales
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia

The Chris O'Brien Lifehouse (Lifehouse) takes an innovative approach to cancer care that focuses on the holistic patient experience. It is the first integrated cancer center in Australia, offering everything a patient needs in one place, including ambulatory care, allied health, clinical trials, research, education, complementary therapies and psycho-social support. Although integrated with the existing functions of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA) and research facilities at The University of Sydney, Lifehouse is a private, not-for-profit facility serving both private and public patients.

Lifehouse reflects the vision of the late Professor Chris O'Brien—an acclaimed medical oncologist—to create an integrated cancer care facility on the RPA. Unlike other Australian hospitals, the building is an 11-story vertical structure. Because of the vertical arrangement, a considerable amount of time was spent making the patient journey as comfortable as possible. Discreet parking, a hotel-like concierge, expansive waiting areas, modern design finishes, an abundance of natural light, and intuitive wayfinding support a positive experience as patients navigate the building. The 96 inpatient rooms are located on the top two floors, occupying "prime real estate" with direct access to private external courtyard gardens. On the ground floor, the Lifehouse Living Room houses supportive services that can help manage the side effects of treatment.

The heart of the building is a central atrium that rises 11 levels and includes an expansive skylight that diffuses natural light throughout the building. All spaces within the building revolve around the atrium, and exposed glass elevators connect the floors, offering subtle glimpses into the operation of the facility and dramatic views of the floors below. Perforated metal is a recurring design element in the atrium, as well as in the waiting areas and on exterior panels; the pattern is based on the braille text for the word "Lifehouse."

The building itself was designed to be conceptually enclosing and protective without being introverted. The façade layering, louvers, patterned glass and perforated screens allow abundant natural light to penetrate the interior while respecting the scale and detail of neighboring heritage buildings.

Awards

  • 2014 Overall Winner, Health category - World Architecture Festival
  • 2014 Award of Excellence (top award) - Modern Healthcare Design Awards
  • 2014 Overall Winner, Interior Design category - Design & Health International Academy Awards
  • 2014 Award of Merit (top award) - Healthcare Design Showcase
  • 2014 Honorable Mention, Acute category - Contract Healthcare Environment Awards