Courtyard environments promote better health

Patients, visitors and staff at the new Bendigo Hospital will enjoy attractive gardens and also some spectacular views of Bendigo,
because there will be 46 courtyards and terraces incorporated into the new hospital’s forward-thinking design.

As the new hospital's courtyards develop, Fiona Faulks, Bob Cameron and Michele Morrison plant some new grasses.

As the new hospital’s courtyards develop, Bendigo Health’s Fiona Faulks, Bob Cameron and Exemplar Health CEO Michele Morrison plant new growth.

The courtyards are a vision designed to bring people together, while they enjoy natural light, fresh-air and all the advantages of green landscaping at the soon-to-be-completed healthcare facility. The design integrates unique al fresco furniture, communal benches and creative works to further enhance the experience of being outdoors.
“Gone are the days of white windowless hospital corridors and rooms with no access to outdoor areas,” said Bendigo Health board chairman, Bob Cameron.
“This state-of-the-art hospital has been designed to maximise natural light and views into patient rooms and staff work areas. By doing so, this has resulted in open spaces within the hospital boundaries that feature as either a courtyard or terrace.”
Extensive landscaping of all internal and external spaces will create a real sense of a hospital in a garden, providing areas of recuperation and relaxation for patients, their families and staff.
“This makes for a unique and tranquil healing and working environment for patients and staff respectively,” said Bendigo Health Women’s and Children’s Services, senior manager, Fiona Faulks.
“Hospital patrons will be able to reconnect with nature and it is well documented that environments such as these can improve wellness and reduce stress,” she said.
The courtyards include specific indigenous garden, which will be located in gardens adjacent to the Aboriginal Support Service within the new hospital.
“There is also a playfully designed courtyard on level three of the new hospital adjoining the Maternity Unit, which is specially designed for children, featuring garden furniture, a talking tube, spinning wheel and climbing tunnel,” Ms Faulks added.
The design elements also provide a sensory experience in the new hospital’s Psychiatric Services, where there will be 15 internal, light-filled courtyards available to patients – with all spaces incorporating specially designed furniture, sports equipment and communal eating areas.
“Planting in the garden areas will begin in spring this year and the plant selection has been specifically selected for the hospital environment and Bendigo’s climatic extremes,” Mr Cameron added.