Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre

31 Oct 2013

"‘‘I am absolutely thrilled to see our vision of a centre for wellness, inspiration and complete cancer care become a reality. With natural light, open space and comfortable welcoming atmosphere, together we have created a really special space"


Hospital Patron

The Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre at the Austin Hospital is a holistic response to the many facets and needs of cancer care. Named after Australian entertainer and hospital patron Olivia Newton-John – herself a breast cancer survivor – the centre provides world-class medical treatment and supportive care for patients and their families, with an emphasis on wellness and patient wellbeing. The eight-storey, $189 million centre is also the first certified Green Star – Healthcare Design project in Victoria

Project Achievements

The first certified Green Star – Healthcare Design project in Victoria.
The fourth Green Star certified healthcare projects in Australia.
Embraces leading-edge practice in green design to support wellness and patient wellbeing

Indoor Environment Quality

International research has found that patients who have some influence over their immediate environment, and who have access to natural light, ventilation and views, recover faster than those who do not.

The Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre embodies this approach to care, striving to create a health sanctuary rather than a typical hospital setting. Key to this design is the central courtyard that provides patients, staff and visitors with access to natural light, fresh air and views of nature. The therapy rooms are positioned to look over the gardens for massage and other treatments and in total 50% of the centre has a direct line of site to the outdoors. Building systems were also selected to maximise comfort levels, such as the choice of passive chilled beams over air conditioning. The end result is a truly restorative and comfortable environment.

"If you have a patient who has a very positive journey, based on an environment where they feel comfortable, and their needs are met not just on a clinical level but are also supported at a social and spiritual level, they're care journey will be optimized." -Project Director, Megan Gray


The Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre set a clear brief for the selection of products and materials – they needed to meet the unique demands of a healthcare environment, support the centre’s wellness philosophy and be sustainable, with low toxicity and low embodied energy.

Clever materials selection has created the desired relaxed and non-institutional atmosphere for the centre. Natural finishes, colours and textures, were chosen to create a sense of bringing the outdoors inside. While low VOC and low formaldehyde products, as well as GECA certified carpet tiles and furniture ranges, were chosen for their low environmental impact. External materials also meet strict environmental criteria, including the use of structural steel and cement made with recycled content.

"The Olivia Newton-John building has an extremely high environmental focus, particularly in terms of how it can facilitate better journeys and experiences for patients and their carers. Not clinically cold as many health spaces are but something that was warmer and inviting and more homely in terms of the feel and quality of the space." -Project Director, Megan Gray


Designed to be a tranquil retreat for patients, carers and staff the Wellness Centre is set within landscaped gardens. To manage these gardens and other water usage with the Wellness Centre sustainably, the project placed a strong focus on water management. 

The design Incorporated a 120,000 litre rainwater storage facility which resulted in a 100% reduction in the use of potable water for landscape irrigation. Uniquely this storage facility draws on rainwater and the waste water from the reverse osmosis treatment undertaken in the centre’s laboratories. Water from the rainwater storage is also reticulated to all toilets throughout the development.

"Environmental considerations influenced every aspect of Olivia Newton-John from materials selection to creating structures that would produce low emissions. This all had to be incorporated within a demanding healthcare environment and comply with relevant cleaning and quality standards." -Project Director, Megan Gray