Taranaki Base Hospital
The extensive upgrade of Taranaki Base Hospital, the main regional hospital for the New Plymouth district, has ensured that specialist medical and surgical services are now provided from some of the most modern facilities in the country.
The 210-bed Taranaki Base Hospital is the main regional hospital for the New Plymouth district. An extensive upgrade programme has meant that some specialist medical and surgical services are now provided from some of the most modern facilities in the country. Part of the redevelopment includes a new building to replace an aged ward block.
Warren and Mahoney, in association with Silver Thomas Hanley Architects, was commissioned to design the new ‘west wing’ building with the overall brief being a substantial ward bedrooms upgrade and the provision for an operating theatre floor.
The outcome is a six storey, 16000m² building containing 150 beds with an operating theatre floor and associated SSD, theatres, recovery and day surgery facilities. The internal planning contains floor definitions through the use of colour and materiality. This is based on ‘nature as metaphor’ principle reflecting healing, calming, assurance, restful and therapeutic analogies. This materiality is further reinforced at the exterior of the building where a Terracotta façade system is employed as the primary cladding. This, alongside the exposed precast base of the building, means that a bold and prominent landmark now features in the Taranaki district that is ‘of its time’.
The design responds to the brief by delivering improved accessibility for patients, staff and visitors while being located adjacent to key services such as emergency and critical care services. The result is a design that delivers a compact and efficient facility which limits travel and achieves functional relationships between departments. It also allows a framework to support an urban design outcome responsive to the existing hospital context.