Rehabilitation facilities for spinal injury patients traditionally have prioritized physical recovery over the non-physical. The desire to offer a more holistic approach to the rehabilitation process led to the creation of the Allan Bean Centre adjacent to the Burwood Hospital Spinal Unit.

The centre, essentially a library, is a pioneering concept for rehabilitation; one that recognizes and emphasizes the need for contemplation and intellectual stimulus as an intrinsic element of the recovery process.

Designed as a space void of any hospital reference, the large voluminous building instead uses natural materials such as concrete and timber. Perforated timber ceiling panels aid in the creation of a tranquil acoustic environment while thermomass walls, concrete floor, high level of insulation and an automated ventilation system ensure even internal temperatures with minimal energy input.

The centre has unfortunately been demolished following the Canterbury earthquakes.


NZIA New Zealand Award - 2002