A new Health Precinct for Deakin Warrnambool

DS Architects appointed to deliver new training and simulation facilities.

At the beginning of 2024 Deakin University launched new course offerings for Occupational Therapy (School of Health and Social Development) and postgraduate Medical (School of Medicine) at its Warrnambool campus. The courses commenced in temporary accommodation, with the intention to develop bespoke facilities to support the specialised requirements of each course, to be completed in readiness for Trimester 1, 2025. From this need, the new Health Precinct project was born. 

The Health Precinct project will focus on the redevelopment of level 2 of two existing adjoining buildings on the campus, with the University’s vision being to “provide a fit-for-purpose health training and simulation facility that consolidates practical teaching areas and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration and education”. The project brief includes the development of simulation labs, clinical teaching spaces, interview rooms and storage spaces for the new courses, plus the upgrade and expansion of the existing Nursing and Midwifery Simulation Spaces.

In December 2023, following a competitive tendering process, DS Architects was appointed by Deakin University to provide Principal Consultant services on this important project. Our appointment represents a mutually rewarding opportunity to build upon DS Architects and Deakin University’s long-standing relationship and to leverage DS’ extensive expertise in designing and delivering simulation labs across diverse disciplines in a tertiary context.

The DS team has fully immersed itself in the project, undertaking our highly effective, research-driven, consultative approach to define the brief and maximise the design outcome. We have undertaken observational walk-throughs of simulation spaces at Deakin’s other campuses, including the School of Nursing at Burwood, the School of Medicine at Waurn Ponds, and the Occupational Therapy Learning Hub at the Geelong Waterfront campus, with the intention to build upon the successes of these key facilities. We have also undertaken a detailed briefing with each user group (School of Health and Social Development, School of Medicine, and School of Nursing and Midwifery) to understand their needs, uncover their embedded knowledge to inform the brief, and translate this spatially to maximise space in alignment with their requirements.

Having recently completed the schematic design phase, we look forward to building upon our initial design work and continuing to work closely with the three Schools to deliver a facility that supports their aspirations and will create positive learning pathways across key health disciplines for regional students into the future.  

Click here to learn more about DS Architects’ healthcare capability.