The Kinghorn Cancer Centre / BVN Architecture

  • 16 Apr 2013
  • Healthcare Architecture Selected Works
© John Gollings

Architects: BVN Architecture
Location: Darlinghurst, , Australia
Client: Garvan Institute and St Vincent’s and Mater Health
Year: 2012
Photographs: John Gollings

© John Gollings

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre unites the Garvan Institute (cancer research) and St Vincents Mater Hospital (cancer treatment and clinical services). The design aspiration of the Kinghorn Cancer Centre is to encourage physical and intellectual interaction between research and clinical staff, and most importantly, between the staff and patients, to provide the opportunity for new ideas and thoughts to be exchanged and formulated.

© John Gollings

To facilitate this, the building has been conceived as a set of functional and spatial elements that articulate the work of the scientists and clinicians. From south to north, the functional programme is clearly zoned to facilitate the research activity. The sequence of spaces moves from service core to laboratory, to write-up space, to meeting rooms, to the public atria where all activity is visible to anyone entering the building.

© John Gollings

Externally each of the facades discretely address the different functional and cityscape requirements of the building. On the northern façade, vertical elements are set back from the Green Park Hotel to respect its scale with the reflection garden and landscaped roof and to articulate the lift and service cores. To the west, and behind a sunscreen, (depending on whether one is viewing the structure by day or night, and the angle of the sun at the time) the series of facades facing Victoria Street reveal the complexity and work of the Centre.


At the lower levels the awnings and U channel glazing with landscaped trellis beyond, address the retail, medical and commercial programme, filling the clinical areas with light and optimism.

Installed in the atrium is a significant art piece from British land artist, Richard Long. The inclusion of this water work has been designed

© John Gollings

to enrich the user experience of Kinghorn and metaphorically connect the healing nature of the space to the organic materials used in the work itself.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "The Kinghorn Cancer Centre / BVN Architecture" 16 Apr 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
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  • ljf.steven lee

    Like this one, very nice!~

  • Patrick H

    Look at the exterior picture… That little building on the corner has 100x the character of this new building. The interiors are nice, but the outside is a soulless gray box.

    • neoprimate

      I never thought about this before, it would be an interesting topic of research.

      Aren’t all buildings soulless? Is it not a building’s and city’s inhabitants that give a building a soul?