In a world where cancer exists, there is a need for a place where those who have it can be treated, learn all there is to know, and work towards finding a cure. These buildings should be practical and even attractive. But it takes something more than that to bring people, processes, and places together in a building that actually embodies a vision.

Kinghorn Cancer Center does this by celebrating the very things that make us human: our interdependence, our need for fellowship, our appreciation for beauty. These are essential for places that care for the most vulnerable.


Kinghorn Cancer Center’s design goals are to foster physical and intellectual interaction between research and clinical staff, and most importantly between staff and patients, to share and develop new ideas and thoughts.

To facilitate this, the building was conceived as a set of functional and spatial elements that articulate the work of scientists and clinicians. The functional program is zoned from south to north to facilitate research activities. A series of spaces move from the service core to laboratories, writing areas, meeting rooms, and public atriums, allowing all activity to be seen by anyone entering the building.

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre by BVN Architecture - Sheet1
Kinghorn cancer centre_©JohnGollings

The design of Kinghorn Cancer Center offers the opportunity to create a unique place in the “translational” research landscape so that not only is the vision articulated in the building, but the vision is the building itself. To explain, the “translational landscape” in research and medicine is one in which laboratories and clinicians do not work in isolation, but work together under one roof, sharing and exchanging information to achieve better outcomes. and achieve faster results.

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre by BVN Architecture - Sheet2
bridges and stairs_©John Gollings

The atrium inside is warm, active, and healing. A dynamic space where bridges and stairs intersect, representing the flow of workers. Whether you’re on your way to grab a cup of coffee or cross the atrium bridge to the lab, this design encourages casual encounters, lighthearted conversations, and ‘oh, I’m glad I met you moments.

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre by BVN Architecture - Sheet3
transistional space_©John Gollings

Externally, each façade unobtrusively reflects the different functional and urban requirements of the building. The north façade retreats the vertical elements from the Green Park Hotel, honoring its grandeur with a reflecting garden and manicured roof, linking the elevator and service core. The rows of façades facing Victoria Street on the west side and behind the awning reveal the complexity and function of the Centre. Downstairs, a beautiful trellis with awnings and U-profile glazing speaks to retail, medical and commercial programs, filling the clinical area with light and optimism.

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre by BVN Architecture - Sheet4
floor plan 1_©archdaily
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floor plan 2_©archdaily
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floorplan 3_©archdaily
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floorplan 3_©archdaily


The visual mass of the center profile is enhanced by a mesh grid suspension about 2 meters from the shell for shielding and shading. This boundary zone hosts the cantilevered extension of the upper laboratory bay and the level 4 bridge link leading to the adjacent Garvan laboratory. Screen Mesh The precise, mechanically crafted neutrality of the mesh resonates with the controlled purpose of the activity it masks. A contrasting mass of

Portico blocks surround the main entrance, leading to a dramatic atrium animated by a series of steps between floors and passages and decks spanning the void. Offices and meeting rooms protrude into the atrium, with reception areas and coffee and lunch tables on different levels.

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre by BVN Architecture - Sheet8
working spaces_©John Gollings

Products used throughout the building include exposed concrete framing and much timber in common areas. There is no material reinvention here. They used very standard materials but in a very unusual way.

For example, the outer layers of the building were concrete, and in the north and west areas of the façade that were mainly exposed to the sun, the A mesh was used to protect the entire height of the glass. Wood is used wherever possible to emphasize the warmth and feel of common areas, providing comfort, as opposed to the use of cold-touch stainless steel commonly found in traditional hospital environments.

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre by BVN Architecture - Sheet9
facade detail_©John Gollings


Kinghorn Cancer Center is designed to achieve sustainable outcomes with a minimum of 4 Green Stars. The policy approach was taken because the proprietary model represented by this development does not have a current Green Star rating category. In terms of functional programs: laboratories, offices, and clinical treatments, this unique and comprehensive functional program set itself apart from other buildings.

Northern Sun Protection helps protect the interior from thermal overload. At the same time, when the sunlight falls, its transparency reveals the shape and complexity of the interior of the building. Elevated clerestory windows on the north façade direct sunlight deep into the atrium below in the winter and flood the space with shaded, diffused light in the summer. On the lower level, similar windows bring daylight into the atrium space, filling the clinical waiting area with light and optimism.

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre by BVN Architecture - Sheet10
filtered lighting_©John Gollings

The solar shading on the west side also consists of suspended aluminum louver solar shading on the glass façade that forms the cladding that covers the atrium and meeting room ‘functions’. The Conservatory spans the two floors of the building to protect the office space allocated to the building and clinical programs from the green sun. The building is equipped with water-saving sockets and devices such as 5-star fittings, 4-star toilets, and 6-star urinals. Plumbing fixtures and fittings meet WEL ratings. 

The hot water is preheated with energy, saving up to 70% in annual hot water production gas consumption. It collects rainwater from the roof and stores it in approximately 50,000 liters of rainwater tanks, minimizing drinking water use. The center was developed with a comprehensive ESD design strategy that incorporates best practice results for sustainability while balancing the cost and design of programs, projects, and maintenance.


Construction & Architecture News (no date) Architecture & Design. Available at: (Accessed: October 30, 2022). 

Jordana, S. (2013) The Kinghorn Cancer Centre / BVN Architecture, ArchDaily. ArchDaily. Available at: (Accessed: October 30, 2022). 

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre: BVN Architecture (no date) Archello. Available at: (Accessed: October 30, 2022). 

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre (no date) BVN. Available at: (Accessed: October 30, 2022). 

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre (2014) Architizer. Available at: (Accessed: October 30, 2022). 

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre (no date) ArchitectureAU. Available at: (Accessed: October 30, 2022). 


Abha has completed her architecture from mumbai. She is passionate about designing and has a creative mind. She also fond of binging series and movies.

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