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Mater Misericordiae Private and Former Public Hospitals, Raymond Tce, South Brisbane, QLD, Australia

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List Register of the National Estate (Non-statutory archive)
Class Historic
Legal Status Registered (30/05/1995)
Place ID 17454
Place File No 4/01/001/0284
Statement of Significance
The Mater Misericordiae Private Hospital and the former Mater Public Hospital are significant as a group of buildings designed in the Federation Free style of architecture and display characteristics of this idiom such as symmetrical facade, banding, projecting bays and central entrances. The buildings are also significant as a relatively intact group. The landscaping still retains much of the original plantings, including the terraced grounds and use of exotic flora (especially palms), increasing the significance of the site (Criterion D.2). The complex is significant as a group of buildings designed by renowned architect R S Dods in the prominent firm of Hall and Dods. The two blocks, as well as the Nurses' Quarters, is the largest project in hospital work ever undertaken by the firm and are a characteristic example of the work of Dods in adapting the Queensland vernacular to the design of a large institutional building (Criterion H.1). The entrance to the Private Hospital, designed by architects Atkinson and Prentice is significant as a sympathetic addition designed in the Federation Free style and displaying characteristics such as the rounded arch and fanlight above the door and swag moulding at the keystone. Built in 1930, the structure is in keeping with the style of the buildings (Criterion D.2).
Official Values Not Available
Hall and Dods' work at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital comprises three buildings: the Mater Private (1908-10), the Mater Public (1909-11, extended 1913) and the kitchen and nurses' quarters. Hall and Dods were considered the Queensland experts on hospital design. Together these three blocks represented the largest achievement in hospital work that was ever undertaken by Dods and they formed the nucleus of what has become a very large hospital. This hospital is a characteristic example of the work of Dods in the adaptation of the Queensland vernacular to the design of a large institutional building. The building is in the Federation Free style with a symmetrical facade and projecting bays on either side of a central entrance. The original entrance was marked in the understated form of a gable and was replaced in the 1930s by the architects Atkinson and Prentice. This new entrance is also in the Federation Free style with door and a surmounted fanlight with a swag moulding at the keystone. Like the outer bays the entrance uses the same polychrome brickwork. Despite this addition the building is still representative of Dods's work in the use of robust timber detailing and the careful consideration of climatic control with verandas, roof vents and planning for cross ventilation. The private and the public blocks are similar in character and both exhibit the skilful combination of brickwork and timber that contributes to the intimate domestic flavour possessed by these and similar Dods buildings. Both units were simply planned and due regard was paid to aspect. The Private Hospital comprises three storeys. The visitors staircase is of silky oak, with leaded glass in the windows and ornaments on the ceiling. A corridor runs the whole length of the building with wards on either side. At the end of the corridors are the sanitory blocks. The western end of the building holds the kitchen wing. The Public Block is similar to that of the Private, excepting that the bulk of the patients are grouped in wards of ten beds each instead of single rooms. In strong contrast to the entrance of the Private Hospital is the entrance to the Public Hospital. The gable spanning between the V-shaped wings is a bold and imaginative feature and an excellent solution to what could have been a difficult roofing problem. Substantial alterations were carried out in 1936 and new wings, a chapel and additonal storeys to the Nurses Quarters were added. Atkinson and Prentice, in association wth Stephenson, Meldrum and Turner of Melbourne were the architects. Dods presented a porcelain plaque representing the Madonna and Child to the hopital. The gift was one of Dods' pieces from his private collection of Arts and Crafts works, which he obtained in Italy. It can be seen hanging on the wall in the Entrance Lobby of the Public Hospital. Mr Charles White was later employed to clothe the figure of the child with a loin cloth. Stone pillars mark the entrance to the complex. The grounds are terraced with their surroundings bordered by palms. As the hospital has grown the virtues of Dods' landscape master plan have been overwhelmed, although much of the original planting survives to make this one of the most memorable hospital groups in the country. Another similar building by Dods includes the Lady Lamington Nurses Home at the Royal Brisbane Hospital (1897). Both hospitals are linear in plan with encircling verandas, however Lady Lamington Nurses Home does not have the characteristic oversized timber detailing.
History Not Available
Condition and Integrity
The building is in reasonably good condition. The exterior of the building, particularily the main facade, has a fair degree of intactness, although the original roof sheeting has been replaced. The Public Block was extended in 1913. A new public block has recently been built. Internally both the public and private buildings retain a reasonable amount of the original joinery and finishes. (assessed in 1988)
Raymond Terrace corner Stanley Street and Annerley Road to Hancock Street, South Brisbane, comprising the 1908 - 10 Private Hospital building and 1909 - 13 former Public Hospital building.
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Lund, N. H.,(1954). The Life and Works of Robin S Dods. (B Arch),
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Riddel, R.,(1991). Second Annual Show Day Tour: Souvenir Booklet. A
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Watson, D., McKay, J.A.,(1984). A Directory of Queensland Architects
to 1940. University of Queensland Library, St Lucia.

Report Produced  Fri Sep 19 09:02:43 2014