First Indigenous rehab centre proposed for Canberra

Canberra’s Watson Health Precinct could become home to the city’s first dedicated residential rehabilitation facility for First Nations people, following the submission of a $49 million development application.

Design team, Judd Studio and STH, have proposed the construction of a 24 bed two-storey rehabilitation facility on the site, as well as the establishment of four one- and two-storey buildings to make up the new health hub, new driveway verge crossings and internal driveway, parking area, outdoor recreation areas and landscaping.

The precinct upgrades will allow the facility to double the intake capacity for services and enable positive clinical and therapeutic outcomes for more people.

The project would involve the demolition of existing buildings at the precinct, which have been used to provide specialist mental health care and alcohol and other drug rehabilitation care to young people for almost 20 years.

Four new buildings, Calm House, Palm Hub, Palm House and Catholic Care, have been proposed to form the health hub, with each building offering different functions.

Palm Hub outdoor communal area.


Judd Studio and STH

The precinct is sited at 350 Antill Street, at the base of Mount Majura. The property, which is surrounded by open space, is set back from the street and bordered by native trees to provide a tranquil, and private space to support people during their rehabilitation and recovery.

The landscape serves as a multi-use space, with plans indicating an outdoor dance and gathering circle, half basketball court, vegetable garden and horticulture training area, gym, kitchen and dining terrace, seating areas, covered verandah area and open grass areas.

Canberra Town Planning submitted the application, which is now on exhibition.

Construction has been predicted to be completed in late 2024.

Source: Architecture - architectureau

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