I mentioned the former Royal Children’s Hospital building in a blog post last year titled ‘Abandoned hospitals of Melbourne‘ – so what has come of the site?
Demolition of former hospital buildings commenced in July 2012, with the site consisting of four main buildings, as annotated below:
- the main ‘H’ block (aqua)
- the former nurses home, later known as the South East building (yellow)
- main entrance building (red)
- research building (lime green)
Of the above, only two of the newer buildings have been retained – the research building that has since been linked up to the new hospital complex next door, and the former entrance building on Flemington Road that will be incorporated into a new hotel development on the site.
Hiding the works was a blue painted plywood wall that encircled the side.
Behind the scenes the first victim was the former nurses home, a stand-alone building on the south east corner of the site, which by the time of closure had been converted into consulting rooms for medical specialists.
Demolition crews started on the two side wings of the building.
Then worked inwards towards the central lift core.
Which was the last to come down.
Next to be demolished was the ‘H’ block that formed the core of the hospital. The first stage was covering the entire northern facade with scaffolding.
Demolition then started on the top levels of the northern wings.
A large mobile crane was needed to move demolition equipment to the upper floors of the building.
Work on this area was delicate due to the new Royal Children’s Hospital being right next door, so water misting was needed to keep the dust down.
Despite this, the resulting rubble was just pushed out the side of the building.
As work moved to the southern wings, the ‘H’ block was separated from the neighbouring research block that is being retained.
By the time January 2013 was over, so was demolition of the former Royal Children’s Hospital, leaving just the entrance and research buildings.
The initial plan for the construction of the new Royal Children’s Hospital was that former hospital site would be restored as public space as part of Royal Park, but since then it has changed.
Stage 2 of the new Royal Children’s Hospital is still to come – involving the construction of an underground car park for 800 vehicles, a seven-storey hotel with 90 rooms, two gyms, small supermarket, childcare facilities, a hairdresser/beauty salon, post office, florist, dry cleaner, doctors consulting suites upstairs and three general retail outlets.
- Royal Park Protection Group – community group that isn’t happy with the way the government is giving away public land to developers.
- Return to Royal Park – City of Melbourne and Department of Health website about the restoration of the former Royal Children’s Hospital site.
- Hospital PPPs show no signs of good health – opinion piece in The Age by Kenneth Davidson regarding the dodgy contracts the state government signed with a private company regarding the new hospital.
- And my full set of photos showing the demolition of the former Royal Children’s Hospital.