Stage 1 K-Block

Stage 1 of the RHH Master Plan has delivered K-Block, the ten-storey inpatient precinct facing Campbell Street.

K-Block has delivered many ‘firsts’ for the RHH.

The 19-bed capacity dedicated adolescent unit with two safe rooms for vulnerable young people is a first for the RHH.

The RHH now has a helipad allowing aeromedical retrieval teams to get critically ill or injured patients to treating teams within a few minutes of landing on K-Block.

New audio-visual equipment, not previously available at the RHH, will bring high-resolution imaging information into theatres like x-rays, CTs and imagery from angiography and the cardiac catheter lab.

Most women will now be able to utilise water immersion in labour as seven of the birthing suites have a large bath.

Patients can have a CT scan without leaving the operating theatre because K-Block has the first public mobile CT scanner; a first for the Tasmanian Health Service and one of only eight in the country.

A robot that takes instruments to the steriliser, reducing repetitious will support staff health and safety. The RHH is the first Australian site to use the equipment.

The multi-place hyperbaric chamber has dual-capability to pressurise (hyperbaric) and depressurise (hypobaric) and is the first in the southern hemisphere.

AdolescentHelipadBathsDigital Operating Theatre EquipmentRobotHyperbaric Multiplace Chamber

Patient Services in K-Block

Patient arrivals and departure services are located on K-Blocks Ground Level. This includes reception, admissions, waiting area, transit lounge, cashier and a café.

Patient Admissions KGMental Health K2WNeonatal and Paediatric Intensive Care K8E

Patient care will result in bringing together services in their clinical areas:

  • mental health on levels 2 and 3
  • women and children’s units on levels 6, 7 and 8
  • surgical units on levels 8 and 9 and
  • medical units on level 10.

There are seven more operating and procedure rooms in a new theatre precinct that extends into A, C and D-Blocks on Level 4.

Operating Theatre Precinct K4Central Sterilising Department K5General Respiratory Medicine K10W

The operating theatres are supported by the central sterilising department on Level 5 which provides a state-of-the-art loan equipment room, electronic instrument tracker and robot that takes instrument trays to the steriliser.

Infection Control

The safety of patients and staff is our priority and K-Block has been designed using best practice control infection prevention and control measures including:

  • hand hygiene stations at the entrance/exit of each ward
  • personal protective equipment bays throughout wards
  • separation of 'clean' and 'dirty' pathways for travel and logistics
  • expanded isolation facilities for infectious patients
  • furnishings, fittings and surfaces that can be easily cleaned.

K-Block has provided increased capacity to provide treatment and care of infectious patients because it provides a total of 22 dedicated negative pressure rooms.  A negative-pressure room is a single room that can be used to isolate patients with known infectious conditions. It has an internal staff handwash basin, direct access to an ensuite toilet and shower facilities and an anteroom (airlock) as per infection control requirements.

The K Block Design

View of K Block from Hobart wharf area

(Click to see full image)

The building's façade complements Hobart's natural and built environments, and acknowledges aspects of our local heritage.

The grid of panels in the façade evokes the quilt pattern reminiscent of the Rajah Quilt, hand sewn by female convicts on their voyage to Van Diemen's Land in 1841. The history and texture of the city can be seen in the ghost printed design of Richard Jarman's 1858 Map of Hobart Town. The colours of the façade's panels are inspired by our local landscape: sky and water blues, landscape greens and earth tones. The shadow of Hobart's iconic Mount Wellington is reflected in the design.

The Rajah QuiltSampling coloursRichard Jarman's mapProposed K Block facade from Campbell Street

(Click to see full images - see bottom of page for credits)

The interior colours of K-Block are inspired by the landscape: sky and water blues, landscape greens, Tasmanian flora and earth tones.

Patient areas line the perimeter of the building so they can benefit from the natural light optimised by the H-shape of the building.

A three-storey atrium introduces light and space into the ground floor patient admissions and departure areas.

Landscaped outdoor terraces can be found on the Ground Level for the general public, Levels 2 and 3 in the mental health units and Level 6 for the adolescents and childrens.

Interior ColoursAtriumPedestrian StreetT Shaped Window in patient room maximises lightExteriorKBlock External

A three-storey atrium introduces light and space into the ground floor patient admissions and departure areas.

Landscaped outdoor terraces can be found on the Ground Level for the general public, Levels 2 and 3 in the mental health units and Level 6 for the adolescents and childrens.


A staff lounge on Level 2 allows staff to take scheduled breaks away from their ward and without leaving K-Block. In addition to indoor and outdoor recreational space, there are meeting rooms for collaboration meetings.

Wayfinding is incorporated into the K-Block design with directory boards at reception and lift lobbies.

Signage clearly labels wards on each floor. Architectural features and colour are used in wall paint and floor vinyl to help guide the flow of movement along the corridors.

T Staff Lounge Directory BoardK7W Wayfinding in vinyl and wall paint


K-Block has 10 floors for patient services with capacity for 315 beds, a loading dock, plantrooms, and a helipad with a lift lobby.

The top of K-Block’s helipad is about 60 metres above street level, and with the plant room it’s closer to 70 metres high (Wrest Point Casino is 73 metres high).

K-Block is about 39 000 m² in size.

A typical floor plate is 3 000 m².

5 500 m² of earth was excavated from the site to build K-Block.

6 000 m² of precast panels were used in the façade. The cladding is 100 per cent aluminium and contains no hydrocarbons. It passes the combustibility test requirements of the Building Code of Australia.

The tallest cranes in Hobart to date were used to reach a height of up to 120 metres. Together they completed 18 500 lifts of up to 15 tonne per lift.

Up to 500 workers were on site at peak construction.

Download this information - Facts on K-Block.

  1. Unknown female convicts on board the Rajah
    The Rajah quilt 1841 (detail)
    Pieced medallion style unlined coverlet: cotton sheeting and chintz applique, silk thread embroidery
    325 x 337.2 cm
    National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
    Gift of Les Hollings and the Australian Textiles Fund 1989
  2. Sampling colour inspiration for façade - Image courtesy of Lyons with Terroir
  3. Façade image – Image courtesy of Lyons with Terroir.
  4. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office: Map of Hobart Town/drawn and engraved by R. Jarman, 1858. Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office: AUTAS001131821787