Blood and bandages: Non-fiction narratives in two Melbourne buildings

Although examples of fictional narratives in architecture remain rare, documentary narratives are thriving. Let’s look at two examples in the medical field.

The first example is the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation office by Crone Architects. According to an article in The Age by Stephen Crafti (1/2/2020), the white perforated steel used in the interior connotes cleanliness and represents the gauze bandages used in the treatment of injuries.

The second is the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre by MCR Architects. The building’s forms and finishes are the consequence of a non-fiction narrative springing from the purpose of the hospital. The architects have examined the aesthetics of the organs, veins, arteries, ligaments, fat and muscle tissue revealed once the patients skin is penetrated. This metaphor is fundamental to the organisation of the building, and shapes the interior and exterior.