Australia’s largest and most advanced children’s hospital recently opened it’s doors in South Brisbane.

The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital is a 359 bed hospital which is the new hub of a state-wide network of paediatric services for Queensland’s population of 4.5 million.

Designed by Conrad Gargett Riddel, in association with Lyons, the design of the building has been described as a ‘living tree’ with plant-inspired cladding, wildlife-themed artworks and a network of spaces based on trunks and branches.

Brisbane’s subtropical climate provided a reference point for the environmental approach taken in the design expressed externally by extensive sunshading and internally by the tree and branch structure which allows the building to breathe.

Huge green and purple fins shade the glass facades of the building, designed to match the colouring of native Bougainvillea plants.

The tree structure also enables way-finding, and offers greater access to natural light, fresh air and landscaping – elements which are deemed conducive to a healing environment.

Some key features in the landscape include a large green sloping roof comprising 1,400 individual planting cassettes and 23,000 plants, six transplanted 30 year old fig trees, play areas and a number of roof gardens for recreation and rehabilitation.