Royal Adelaide Hospital

Royal Adelaide Hospital

WTA Architecture and Design Studio
Adelaide, Australia

Royal Adelaide Hospital

WTA Architecture and Design Studio as Architects

The current situation of the site recalls blinding parallels that are present in the existing status of the RAH site and the history of Adelaide's discovery. First parallel is the instance of inhabiting an inhabited site. Before Adelaide came into being, its site was occupied by Aboriginal tribes. The current residents of RAH site are the hospital and the heritage buildings. Second parallel is the realization of both sites' capacity to shape the urban landscape, although with different magnitudes. Third parallel is the conscious effort in creating a livable and healthy urban situation.

The relative circumstance of both urban situations has evolved the design response as similar to Adelaide's urban design concept. The RAH site is enveloped by Park Lands that has been proven to provide a healthy and sustainable civic space with one major difference, the site compresses the Park Lands with the lived and public spaces that in turn creates a new urban form. It is an urban language that properly correspond to the current and foreseeable urban context. The amalgam of different activities and functions overlap one another creating an exciting dialogue between forces that shape the civic space.

The RAH site's Park Lands are part natural and part 'architecturalized nature'. It consists of garden courtyards, extended greens from the adjacent botanical gardens, walkable green roofs, vertical gardens, and a huge body of water akin to a small lake. Some of it partially covers the retained hospital buildings. The covering for some of the maintained hospital structures serve as a necessary response so as to remove the public image of the hospital's presence which, for some people have negative associations. The Park Lands also overlap other functions and programs that immediately extend nature in, instead of being clearly delineated from other spaces.

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