Karratha Super Clinic

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Through the Federal Department of Health and Ageing our client, the Pilbara Health Network, received funding to construct and manage a Super Clinic in Karratha. The facility acts as a hub for General Practitioner, Allied Health, Mental Health and ancillary health services for the region, as well as providing educational programmes and clinical training specialising in regional health.

In addition to enabling best practice health care facility management, the design also needed to respond to the cultural values of indigenous clients; particularly the relationship to enclosed spaces and incorporating an understanding of the cultural traditions for privacy. It needed to also consider the social impacts of FIFO workers and remote living, creating a space that could service both user groups.

Our design response is regionally specific, responding to the harsh climatic conditions of the Pilbara through a self-shading strategy made up of deep verandahs, colonnades, balconies, awnings and screens. These features create spaces to be outside but also help reduce the load on internal mechanical air conditioning.

Externally, the low-lying concrete form of the building is interposed with colour, texture and abstract shapes, creating a dynamic building when viewed from the car.  A traced pattern along the facade of the building visually connects it with the hills behind.

Internally, a gentle palette of colours and materials help to create an environment of warmth and safety. Effort has been made to create physical and visual connections to the outdoor environment whereever possible.  In the procedure rooms, bold blocks of colour temper the examination experience and also find their way into corridors, acting as important wayfinding markers.

The building is a playful injection into Karratha’s town centre, responding to the specifics of the place and providing necessary medical services within a welcoming and safe environment.