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WSP Architecture worked in a joint venture partnership with Chow Hill Architects Ltd (Auckland) on the design brief, design, documentation and construction management of the new Christchurch Women’s Hospital and Day Surgery Unit. The overarching theme for the project was the “circle of life”, with the client wanting the hospital to be a celebration of new life, this was achieved and reflected in external landscaping works, incorporating flowing water and ripple patterns, and in the connection to between the hospital and an adjacent heritage Chapel.
Amalgamation of the existing Women’s Maternity Hospital onto the Main Hospital site realised substantial functional and operational cost efficiencies for CDHB as well as providing international best practice health care for women. The project also provided the opportunity to incorporate a new Day Surgery Unit which provided similar benefits for the client.
The new hospital was designed to Importance Level 4 (IL4) standard and was the first building in the South Island of New Zealand to be base isolated with lead rubber bearings to improve seismic resilience and minimize disruption, damage and repair costs following an earthquake event. The added value and benefits of this design innovation were realised when Christchurch suffered major seismic events in 2010 and 2011 causing widespread destruction. The new hospital sustained minimal damage and was able to remain fully operational throughout these events.
WSP Architecture were later commissioned by CDHB in 2010 to provide a state-of-the-art Urology Department extension to the Day Surgery Unit, further raising the bar for women’s healthcare in Christchurch.