"My father had an appointment at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre today...We didn't feel like we were in a threatening clinical environment "
Albert Carmon

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre

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Garvan Institute, St Vincent's and Mater Health
The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia
January 2009 - December 2012
Full Architectural Services

10,800m² GFA


Uniting cancer research and treatment to deliver translational research and personalised medicine in a single nurturing environment

Signifying a revolutionary approach to cancer research and treatment, The Kinghorn Cancer Centre brings together the Garvan Institute research and St Vincent’s Mater hospital facilities into one cohesive and interactive environment.

The brief was to create a nurturing non-hospital setting that facilitates collaborative research between scientists, clinicians and patients, to deliver personalised medicine, and advance research through rapid translation to the clinic.

Filled with natural light, timber finishes and landscaping, the building is organised into functional zones, with the sequence of spaces moving from service core to laboratory, to write-up space, to meeting rooms, to the public atrium where all activity is visible to anyone entering the building. The design of the atrium encourages the trans-disciplinary exchange of culture and information.

Externally, each of the facades discretely addresses the different functional and cityscape requirements of the building.

In a first for Australia, The Kinghorn Cancer Centre research laboratories use natural ventilation and mixed mode servicing to avoid the need to separate the spaces into compartments, further encouraging collaboration.

A dramatic earth-based artwork by renowned British artist Richard Long, installed in the atrium, enriches the user experience of the facility and reflects the healing nature of the space.






The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia


WAF High Commendation - Health
Chicago Antheneum International Architecture Award
RAIA NSW John Verge Award for Interior Architecture

Brief Elements

  • Directorate
  • Generic Research Office & Write up
  • Dry Research Offices
  • PC2 Generic Research Labs
  • PC2 Animal House
  • PC2 Cell Culture
  • Electron Microscope with vibration isolation
  • Chemotherapy treatment area with 19 chairs, 4 day stay beds


  • Thorough understanding of the client's vision for a space that embodies interconnectedness, warmth and respect for the dignity of the individual. The vision is not simply articulated in the building, the vision is the building
  • 'From bench to bedside:' Integrated clinical and research strategy
  • Flexibility to expand or contract labratory/write up spaces, facilitated by mechanical services delivery from each end of the building
  • Mechanical services delivery enables gradual decreasing of the 'controlled' environments moving towards the write-up and atrium spaces
  • Teaching capacity in operating theatres
  • A seven storey atrium provides a forum for intellectual, experiential and anecdotal communication
  • Location of major vertical circulation and toilets alongside the atrium to ensure movement through this social space
  • Lunch and major coffee points are located close to street edge with inside and outside views, providing constantly used spaces


Capital Insight
Project Manager
Richard Crookes Construction
Hydraulics, Fire, Mechanical, Electrical
360 Degrees
Landscape Architect
WT Partnership
Quantity Surveyor
Lawrence Group
Land Surveyor
Wilkinson Murray
Acoustic Consultant