Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is a not-for-profit, comprehensive centre specialising in advanced treatment and research for public and private patients who are suffering from rare and complex cancer cases. Located within the RPA Hospital Precinct, Lifehouse set a new benchmark in the treatment of cancer and established a truly integrated comprehensive cancer care facility — the first of its kind in Australia.
The 45,000 m² premier centre includes both cancer treatment and patient care facilities, representing unique incorporation of private services onto a public tertiary campus. Seeing more than 40,000 patients a year, it combines diagnosis, treatment, research, education and emotional support to improve the lives of people affected by the disease.
Winner of five World Architecture Festival awards, this project achieved an excellent design outcome with an innovative clinical care model and redefined cancer care in Australia.
Key features of Lifehouse include:
- 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, the waiting areas and on exterior panels — a pattern based on the braille text for the word “Lifehouse.”
- The building was designed to be conceptually enclosing and protective without being introverted. The façade layering, louvers, patterned glass and perforated screens allow natural light to penetrate the interior while respecting the scale and detail of neighboring heritage buildings.