Phillips Smith Conwell

Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital


John Holland Group




Sunshine Coast, Queensland



The regionally based Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital (SCUPH) provides the perfect example of how careful planning and design can create spaces filled with natural light and improve the everyday experience for staff, patients and visitors.

With a design that echoes that of a subtropical resort, the building provides a sense of arrival with lushly landscaped gardens under a two storey high covered walkway. Carefully spaced seating along the path presents a space for people to take in the fresh air whilst being fully shaded from the elements.

Inside, the 200 bed facility provides:

  • 5 x 32 bed wards
  • 6 operating theatres
  • 3 procedure spaces
  • ICU
  • day patient unit
  • medical suites
  • provision for future birthing suite/maternity ward
  • Café
  • Pharmacy

It was important to SCUPH that we create an effective design that established an efficient backbone of the hospital. All of the back of house service areas are screened from the visitor and patient arrival walkways to the hospital. This arrangement ensures visitors are unaware of the multiple back of house processes functioning seamlessly elsewhere in the building.

The hospital features a central core which aids way finding and efficient operational flows. Vertical transport links for staff and visitors are clustered around this core, providing obvious arrival points for clinical units. The ward layouts repeat themselves on each level providing a flexible solution for the hospital. All rooms are standardised with large windows to prioritise natural light in all areas including patient rooms, transitional spaces and staff areas to improve the experience of working, staying or visiting the hospital.

The project was procured through a government design / construct / operate tender process. Whilst it is a private hospital, Queensland Health was an active stakeholder and the hospital provided public services during the construction of the public hospital. Interestingly, cost planners have reported no other hospital in Queensland has been able to match the value for money delivered on this project.