“…it has dramatically changed the way people interact with one another which is a direct reflection of the beautiful environment we find ourselves in."
Sue Shilbury, General Manager, RNS / Ryde Health Services

Royal North Shore Hospital

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Royal North Shore Hospital, Reserve Road, St. Leonards, New South Wales, Australia
September 2008 - December 2012
Masterplanning, Architectural, Health Planning and Interior Design (Lead Consultant)

100,000m² GFA


Large-scale hospital redevelopment improving operational efficiency and providing an environment of positivity and wellbeing for patients and staff.

As part of a $1.2B redevelopment of Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH), BVN created a new masterplan for the 11 hectare site and designed the new acute hospital building.

RNSH is one of the largest and most complex hospitals within NSW, providing tertiary and quaternary services. It is one of five major trauma centres in NSW and is a teaching hospital of the University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney.

The new 100,000m2 acute hospital is the centerpiece of the RNSH upgrade. It incorporates one of Australia’s largest operating suites, a 60-bed intensive care service, nine 30-bed inpatient units, a major radiation oncology centre, a 34-bed mental health unit and a major emergency department. The design focuses on safe and efficient delivery of service, flexibility for future expansion and providing a welcoming public building.

The innovative physical layout is based on the development of a clear circulation and services backbone. This is manifested in the ‘high’ street of the hospital, under a sunlit atrium. This layout minimises patient and staff travel by providing the shortest travel distances possible and supports team-based delivery of care. The planning provides a physical framework to improve operational efficiency, the work environment of staff and services to the community. Whilst colour is used as a clear internal wayfinding device, it is also used to enhance an environment of positivity, care and wellness.





Royal North Shore Hospital, Reserve Road, St. Leonards, New South Wales, Australia

Brief Elements

  • Acute Hospital, Tertiary and Quaternary Services
  • Over 5000 Rooms and 126 Departments
  • 60-Bed Intensive Care Unit
  • 14 Inpatient Wards
  • Inpatient Therapy Areas
  • 34-Bed Mental Health Unit
  • Cancer Care Centre
  • Ambulatory Care Centre
  • Acute Dialysis Unit
  • Academic & Liaison Psychiatry
  • Staff Amenities
  • Helipad
  • Medical Imaging Department
  • Interventional Suite
  • Emergency Department
  • Pharmacy
  • Pathology
  • Respiratory Investigations Unit
  • Vascular Ultrasound
  • Blood Pressure & Kidney Function Centre
  • Psychiatric Emergency Care
  • Mortuary
  • Transit Lounge
  • Sterilising Services Department
  • Disaster Services
  • Administration
  • Facilities Management


  • Clear Central Vertical and Horizontal Circulation Spine
  • Separation of Back and Front of House Flows without Impacting Efficiency of Area
  • Vertical Circulation Independent of Clinical Floor Plan
  • Core Services Infrastructure Independent of Clinical Floor Plan
  • 10.8m Column Spans to Allow Greater Flexibility of Planning
  • Strategic location of Roof Top Plant to allow Two Additional Floors to be added without Affecting Location of Plant
  • 100mx140m Compact Floor Plate that Minimises Travel Distances
  • Design allows for Variable Location of Wet Areas
  • Modular Facades can be Modified for Future Growth/Change
  • Provides Immediate Expansion by Locating Admin Areas alongside Major Departments expected to Increase in Size, to allow Growth of Clinical Areas
  • Proven Flexibility of Design demonstrated by Redesign of International Suite due to New Briefing requirements. Full Redesign was Facilitated with No Impact of Core Building Design or Critical Services Infrastructure


Client, Builder & Project Manager
Façade, Structural, Civil & Traffic Engineer
Fire Engineer
Urban Planning
Graham Brooks & Assoc.
Heritage Consultant
Landscape Architect
Hastie International
Mechanical Engineer
Hydraulic Engineer
Electrical Engineer
Hendry Group
BCA Consultant
Acoustic Logic
Acoustic Engineer
Burns Bridge Health
Health Consultant for NSW Health