Wanarn Clinic Wanarn Community, WEstern australia

PROJECT OVERVIEW: In the Gibson Desert, 800km east of Laverton, Wanarn Clinic serves a community among the remotest in Australia. Ngaanyatjarra Health Service, a community organization with an indigenous board, required a clinic which addressed the programmatic constraints and modest budget through respect of people, land and culture to create a facility with community ownership.

"The benefit of the health provision cannot be overstated, including renal dialysis which was only possible through careful cost savings. Hundreds have been lost and now those elders who remain can be brought home to the remotest of locations." Brett Cowling. The architecture reinforces this importance most notably through the art screens. The art screens counter the utilitarian built environment which gives no inkling of the extraordinary art that is so often created for the pleasure of others. Their incorporation enables the building to pay respect to elders, artists and culture, enriching the community.

CATEGORY: Professional SETTING: Rural STATUS: Completed

BY: Kaunitz Yeung Architecture

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: The design process was underpinned by the architect living in community facilitating impromptu 'yarning', under a tree, on the way to the shop or whilst hunting rabbit. This enabled all voices to be heard from a nomadic culture that is not always comfortable speaking within the mob.

PARTNERS: Funding body: Australian Department of Health, Client: Brett Cowling, CEO Ngaanyatjarra Health Service, Project Facilitator: Valerie Nullett, WSP, Art Screen Design Consultant: Vashti Gonda, Di Emme Creative Solutions, Wanarn Community Artists: Mrs Bates and Mrs Ward, Source Art Centre: Warakurna Art Centre, Structural Engineer: Bruce Hutchison, Chapman Hutchison Engineers, Building Services Engineers: Lucid Consulting Engineers, QS: Charles Wright, QS Services, Photographer: Brett Boardman, Contractors: Murray River North