Whether collectively or individually – everyone can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.

That’s the message taken from the tagline for World Cancer Day - “We can. I can” - which takes place in February each year. Unfortunately, cancer is one of the world’s leading killers and has affected almost everyone in one way or another. What you might not think about though, is what architecture can do for cancer patients.

In 2013, Hames Sharley completed the refurbishment of the Whyalla Regional Cancer Centre located in regional South Australia. The refurbishment was made possible by support from both state and federal government as part of the Regional Cancer Centres Initiative. It’s the largest cancer centre in rural South Australia and allows citizens to receive care closer to home rather than having to make the long journey to Adelaide.

The cancer centre prides itself in both educative and preventative care, providing better facilities and better medical staff to the area. Its design aims to focus less on the clinical, and more on the patients’ necessity to reflect, relax and heal.

Human behaviour informs design, just as design informs human behaviour. For cancer patients, spending essential recovery time in a bleak, sterile environment could prove detrimental to one’s motivation, happiness, and frankly, fight to live, which is why Hames Sharley and other architects around the world are looking to employ values of healing in their healthcare facilities.

The refurbishment for the Whyalla Regional Cancer Centre is a proud achievement for Hames Sharley, receiving a finalist position in the 2013 World Architecture Festival.

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