Gandel Wing, Cabrini Malvern — Case Study

November 2019

5 Min Read

A new benchmark for patient comfort.

This was the ambitious design intent for the new $120 Million Gandel Wing at Cabrini Malvern and Bates Smart needed a local lighting supplier they could trust.

The Challenge

The iconic Cabrini Hospital in Malvern began planning for the new Gandel Wing in 2010. Their vision was to provide an exceptional patient experience in the speciality areas of cancer, cardiac, elderly care, emergency, respiratory and maternity.

Renowned architects Bates Smart had an ambitious design intent for the new wing: to transform the hospital ward from a purely clinical, sterile space into one of wellbeing and healing.

They were attracted to Artefact Industries as a local lighting supplier because of the fusion between crafted natural materials and technical performance often found in our products.

Our brief could not have been clearer:

To help Bates Smart achieve a welcoming sense of warmth and tranquillity in the 100+ Gandel Wing rooms through soft, rounded light fixtures in a natural palette. Without compromising on performance and durability required by hospital standards.

A Collaborative Approach

For the project to be a success, we knew from the start we needed to collaborate closely with the team at Bates Smart. With a long-standing relationship with Cabrini Health that spans 50+ years, Bates Smart had put their ultimate trust in us to deliver.

As a local supplier, we are well placed to be flexible and adaptable in response to the complex needs of projects like this. During a 12-month lighting design process, we provided research, iterative prototypes and consultation to ensure we achieved the exact vision that Bates Smart had in mind.

There were two types of lights that we needed to design for the rooms — first, the functionally important bed head wall light. And secondly, a wall light for the reading areas that acted as a soothing recovery space for patients and a comfortable spot for visitors.

We knew that commissioning a local artisan to craft the lights would contribute to the bespoke hotel-like aesthetic that Bates Smart was striving for. That was simple. The harder question we had to answer was how can we ensure the artisan lighting was:

  • Impact-resistant to protect against bangs and bumps from medical equipment
  • Going to provide the perfect amount of light output with integrated DALI control
  • Easy to clean and maintain/refinish on site


Handcrafted beauty meets high-tech. We turned to our core range of products to see what we could customise to fit the brief.

A clear choice for the bed head light emerged — our Solid wall light. Handcrafted from timber by local artisan James Tapscott, its soft rounded corners, and natural materiality brings that warm and serene ambience the brief demanded.

Timber is also exceptionally impact-resistant, reducing the amount of damage that moving machinery, trollies and beds can have on lighting within a hospital environment.

For the reading area, we decided to continue the theme of natural timber materials by incorporating a handcrafted timber midsection from James Tapscott to our T_Mini Up  Down wall light.

While this idea sounded simple in theory, it took countless hours of internal experimentation to perfect. Seamlessly combining a hand-made midsection with a machine-spun aluminium component was a unique challenge.

Underpinning the aesthetics are market-leading ENTTEC and Soraa luminaires, producing the most appropriate illumination in the most efficient manner.

Both fixtures are easy to clean, and any maintenance or refinishing can be done on-site. All timber materials and luminaires were sealed entirely to meet hospital safety standards.

To gain the approval of project stakeholders, we produced a display suite prototype that was signed off by Kane Constructions, Cabrini Health, Bates Smart and Aecom.

The Result

A new level of care, comfort and serenity for patients.

“The environment is light and bright, and that in itself has an uplifting impact on staff, just as it does for patients.”

— Dr Michael Walsh, Chief Executive, Cabrini Health


“Is this the world’s most beautiful hospital?”

— Vogue Living


“A national benchmark for patient comfort.”

— Kristen Whittle, Design Director, Bates Smart

Bates Smart brought their vision for the new Gandel Wing to life. The project has received a high level of press coverage in addition to plaudits from Cabrini executives, staff and stakeholders.

The lighting we produced for the project enhanced the sense of calm, nurturing and healing within the rooms without sacrificing the performance, safety and durability required in a hospital setting. We provided a high level of proactive personal service to make sure there were no surprises throughout the project.

But perhaps, most importantly, a special relationship was fostered in this project. A relationship between a hospital, natural aesthetics, local artisans and designers. A relationship defined by a relentless focus on putting the patient experience first. With empathy and care.

A hospital room in the Gandel Wing, Cabrini Malvern using Artefact Industries lighting products

“Working on the Gandel Wing with Michael and the team at Artefact has brought into sharp focus the positive aspects of specifying local Australian companies. The proactive design team were able to adapt products quickly and efficiently to meet the complex demands of the clinical environment and create an outcome which has surpassed everyone’s expectations. We selected Artefact to work on this prestigious project due to their technical mastery and the sense of craft that permeates their work.”

— Mark Healey, Studio Director, Bates Smart


Click here to download a PDF version of the case study.


Architect: Bates Smart, Builder: Kane Constructions, Electrical Contractor: Nuvo Group, Lighting Engineer: AECOM

Completion: 2019

Products: Solid wall light, Customised T_Mini up down wall light

Photography: Peter Clarke


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