Project team:

Client: Health Infrastructure and Murrumbidgee Local Health District
Architects: Woods Bagot
Lighting design concept: Jovica Sredojevic, Light Practice
Lighting design development: Steensen Varming


Products applied:

Linear profile: XAL Canyon
Flush-mounted profile: XAL Minimal
Task lighting: Lite Source and Control, and LED Lighting
Reading lights: 3S Lighting, Xicato LED modules
Staff and back of house areas: Eagle Lighting

06. Jun 2014

Home from home

Text: Alison Ritter
Photos: Peter Bennetts

Not many people outside Australia know what the “Wagga Effect” is. The phrase was coined by the Australian Institute of Sport to describe the disproportionately high number of elite sports men and women who come from regional cities, such as Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. It makes sense that children from smaller towns have more space to play, are exposed to many different sports, and will often participate alongside adults. Healthy sports activity is believed to lead to sound physical and mental health, and with its reputation Wagga Wagga is not the sort of place one would immediately associate with a psychiatric clinic. But they have one – a new one – and it is exemplary.

Wagga Wagga is a city in a rural area of New South Wales, Australia with an urban population of just under 50,000 people. The Wagga Wagga Mental Health facility is a two-storey building and one of the first buildings to be completed as part of the overall master plan for Wagga Wagga Health services. The facility comprises a 50 bed Mental Health Inpatient Unit, including acute and sub-acute wards. Within each ward are bedrooms, ensuites, living, dining and activity areas. The facility also has staff and administrative areas, consultation rooms, quiet rooms and a gymnasium. The client, Health Infrastructure and Murrumbidgee Local Health District, was seeking to develop a world class mental health treatment facility for people of all ages. The brief was to deliver a facility which fostered more of a hospitality atmosphere than a clinical one. Generally, the approach for both this and the Young Adults’ Mental Health Unit at St. Vincent’s in Sydney by the same design team is similar, in that the environment should be one of comfort, calmness and well-being. Vertical illumination is important in facial recognition to ensure patients and staff feel secure. Safety of patients, staff and visitors is also a key motivator in the lighting design. The key difference in approach from the youth clinic is the potential range in ages that may occupy the Wagga Wagga facility. The primary function of the facility is the treatment and management of the patients, so recognising and addressing their needs and wants is paramount. […]


The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 93
And our PLD magazine app (iPad App Store) contains a media-enhanced version.

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