The Australian Institute of Architects South Australian Chapter has joined the call for a review of the $3.2 billion new Women’s and Children’s Hospital development on a century-old heritage site, proposing three alternative sites for the infrastructure.
The Institute’s South Australian Chapter President Anthony Coupe said the South Australian Government’s proposal to demolish 10 heritage police barracks and develop adjacent to the nationally-listed Adelaide Parklands was inappropriate on heritage grounds and at odds with Labor’s previous commitments to heritage protection.
“The Institute supports the construction of a new hospital for women and children but not at the expense of our city planning processes,” he said.
“The haphazard process that has led the government to land on the historic Thebarton Police Barracks site for its mega development has not acknowledged the heritage and cultural impact. It’s not good enough for governments to simply rezone land on a whim.”
The Institute is calling for more consideration of alternate site options for the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
“Today we are putting forward three alternative sites that would potentially be more appropriate in terms of their urban planning, while also meeting the needs of a growing South Australian community,” Mr Coupe said.
These sites are: a 34,000sqm site in Thebarton opposite Bonython Park, a 38,000sqm block also opposite Bonython Park, and the 28,000sqm former Australia Post site bounded by Grote, Gouger and Blenheim Streets and West Terrace.
Each of these has rectangular perimeters that can enable more efficient site utilisation. They do not encroach on state or nationally significant places, and are well-served by public transport. Further, they are located in areas that future allied health facilities and worker housing could be accommodated.
Mr Coupe said the Institute urged the South Australian government to invest more time to find a more suitable and appropriate site for the necessary nWCH.
He pointed to the immediate construction and design industry work opportunities that the new infrastructure would enable for the sector, as well as the long-term public health service and social amenity provision for the wider community.
“The government needs to consider the broader impact that the new hospital will have on the area in which it is located and its potential to provide a catalyst for regeneration of the wider precinct,” he said.
“This project is a significant investment in the future of our state and should demonstrate a mature approach to city shaping.”
For media enquiries contact:
Nicolette Di Lernia
Australian Institute of Architects – SA Chapter
P. + 61 (8) 8402 5911 | M. +61 (0) 438 805 701 | E. email@example.com