Following on from the success of its state-of-the-art Oral Health Centre development at Nedlands’ Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, architectural and planning practice Hames Sharley has been called back to design and plan a landmark $100 million research
Following on from the success of its state-of-the-art Oral Health Centre development at Nedlands’ Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, architectural and planning practice Hames Sharley has been called back to design and plan a landmark $100 million research facility on the site.
The Western Australian Institute for Medical Research’s new home will harness the latest advances in scientific, technological and research developments in Australia and abroad, according to Hames Sharley project leader James Edwards, and will set new benchmarks in sustainability.
It has engaged UK-based LCE Architects to provide world’s best practice expertise to the project.
On a fact finding mission to research facilities in the eastern states, Mr Edwards told WA Business News the new facility for WA’s premier adult medical research institute would be a WA showpiece.
While still in the preliminary planning and design stages, the WAIMR facility will likely comprise about 20,000 square metres of highly serviced, flexible space in a building of between eight and ten storeys in height.
“I’m sure the building will be a new step forward in the design of medical research facilities…It will draw researchers from around the world and have a high level of connectivity with Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital,” he said.
“The key to its success will be in creating a community by providing central meeting spaces and break out areas, because so many people will be working in specialist areas.”
Mr Edwards said because of the scale of existing infrastructure, the new facility would not be imposing and would make use of current pathways to allow activity to flow from the Hampden Road side of the hospital to the building.
Mr Edwards said its client, the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre Trust, had emphasised sustainability in the brief and the design team was looking into cutting-edge technologies including “light harvesting” to reduce the heat load on the building.
The incorporation of natural, recyclable materials into the building is also being explored.
“There will be a lot of natural light, ventilation and attractive, green spaces where people can meet,” he said.
Despite the fact that a formalised sustainability measure for health sector facilities was some time away, Mr Edwards said the team would still follow a Green Building Council of Australia pilot tool, with the aim of achieving a Five Star Green Star equivalent building.
Construction is likely to start on site in February 2009.
Hames Sharley has developed a niche in the health sector, designing the award-winning Biomedical Research Facility for the University of Western Australia in Shenton Park and the Oral Health Centre in recent years.
The practice is also working on the $1.7 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital at Murdoch, together with STH Architects and HASSELL, as well as the Rockingham Hospital and the Marshall Centre for Infectious Diseases Research and Training.