Former Mildura Base Hospital
1931-34 / Victoria
Architect: Irwin and Stevenson (1892-1962)
The hospital was designed for the rapidly growing inland, regional city of Mildura, several hundred kilometers from larger coastal cities Adelaide and Melbourne. It was part of a wave of hospitals designed and built in the 1930s and 1940s in Australia as government policies sought to create a comprehensive system of hospital care by encouraging the construction of so-called community or intermediate hospitals. Following the recommendations of visiting American hospital expert Malcolm MacEachern in 1928, the Victoria and New South Wales state governments pursued policies that saw the establishment of new intermediate hospitals to serve those who could not afford private hospital care but did not qualify for charity. New hospitals enabled advanced medical care in parts of Australia previously without such a service. In cities they filled the gap between the charity hospitals and the fully private institutions that existed at the time. While Mildura had an earlier hospital, the new “base” hospital marked a new era of advanced medicine and modern accommodation
Heffron and Delaney
Medical Wards, Block A & Block B
1935 / NSW
The first of a series of modern multi storey hospital wards designed in the 1930s by the NSW Government Architect. Similar examples survive at Murwillumbah and Wallsend.
The two Medical Ward blocks were intended to be the first pair of a series of similar blocks, however the Depression of the 1930s resulted in the programmed expansion of the hospital being curtailed. Plans survive showing where the third block, Block C was to be located.
The two blocks erected are similar in design, each having a central entrance with lifts and stairs, flanked by two wards, each with a north facing verandah. The same layout was repeated on each of the three floors. The wards were cross ventilated, to take advantage of the sea breezes that were the reason for the initial siting of the hospital The central section contained facilities for staff and a number of individual rooms, the later in a wing extending out to the south. The sanitary facilities were located to the rear of each ward. The fire stairs and the rear drying balconies were open to the fresh air. Rear verandahs provided access between the central spine and the wards toilet and bathroom areas. Boilers were located in the basement at the eastern side of each block.
Internally evidence of the original layout survives, however some of the wards have been subdivided.
King George V Memorial Hospital for Mothers and Babies, part of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
1939-41 / NSW
Architects: Stephenson, Meldrum & Turner.
Punchbowl Baby Health Centre
1948 / NSW
The Punchbowl Baby Health Centre is located on the busy thoroughfare of Punchbowl Road and faces the open parkland of Warren Reserve. It is a single storey face brick building designed and constructed in the 1940s. It has a distinctive curved symmetrical facade and wings extending off each side from the curved entry. The building presents to the northwest with the entry set at an angle to Punchbowl Road addressing the former corner of Punchbowl Road and Urunga Parade. It is accessed by a cement path that is also set on an angle from the Punchbowl Road footpath. The Centre is an unusual design, consisting of a series of rooms situated around a central circular Waiting Room. The entry into the waiting room is via a covered curved porch set flat at ground level, which was designed to provide easy access for prams. The pathway to the building is lined with flower beds and at some stage after the official 1948 opening and associated photographs, a flagpole was constructed on the north-western side beside the cement path.
1959-1964 / VIC
Architect: Esmond Dorney
The hospital was originally planned to accommodate 88 beds. It is characterized by its unusual trio of polygonal buildings with axes connecting the central stations of each, forming a triangular arrangement, with each apex articulated as a ring. The largest of the three polygons is three stories. At its centre were the main administrative offices and at the centre of those offices was a cylindrical light court. At the center of the smaller two polygonal buildings were nurses’ stations. Externally the building is clad in dark grey concrete blocks with horizontal raked joints which create a banded effect. The corners have distinctive textured quality derived from the use of alternating brick courses. The two smaller sections have bubble-shaped domed roofs, while the larger polygon has pop-up clerestory roof form.