This small community clinic in the Australian outback is a point of pride for local residents. Working under an extremely tight budget, Kaunitz Yeung Architecture designed the clinic to double as a place where the Aboriginal community could meet and socialize "on their way to the shop or whilst hunting rabbit". The Wanarn Clinic won the Best Sustainable Development of the Year prize at this year's LEAF Awards, which recognizes innovative architectural design across the globe.
The architects underpinned the relationship between the building and the context through the design, which facilitates iterative consultations with specific user groups and enables superior environmental performance. A two-chair rental dialysis unit was included in the design in order to help address the epidemic that is separating people from country.
“The public and cultural benefit of the health provision cannot be overstated, including renal dialysis which was only possible through careful cost savings. Hundreds have been lost and now those elders who remain can be brought home to the remotest of locations,” said Brett Cowling, former CEO of the Ngaanyatjarra Health Service.
Walls made of locally-sourced stone surround the premises, while the art screens reference the regional flora. In addition to its social qualities, the building has a remarkable environmental performance which mitigates the harsh arid climate. Its north-facing orientation, presence of an entry canopy and art shade screen and efficient building insulation ensure optimal thermal performance.
Photos via Arena International