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A Collaborative Approach to Research Facility Design

Conventional methods associated with research facility design have been abandoned in favour of a more interactive layout that promotes human engagement.

A Collaborative Approach to Research Facility Design


June 18th, 2014

Challenging the status quo, the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research is fostering a whole new way for researchers to conduct their work and collaborate, with the ultimate aim of reaching ever higher outcomes for the Australian public by the advancement of health treatment.


The high spec 10 storey building is at the heart of the state’s premier new research precinct on the QEII Medical Centre, housing over 700 researchers from University of Western Australia and other affiliates from former (WAIMR). This building exemplifies a unique new collaborative and interactive model in the joint use of space and technology.



Led by Director James Edward, the Hames Sharley team championed a more transparent and organic plan form: one built around a central activated core, with laboratories running from north to south, allowing natural light to illuminate both sides. In order to move between the offices and the laboratories, human traffic is forced to flow to the central heart of the building.



This design encourages the encounter of researchers in these central spaces allowing for relationships to build, and ideas to be exchanged.  As this is a more collaborative, social and productive way to work, the building creates an internal environment that promotes human engagement and breeds collaborative discourse.


Harry Perkins

Photography: Robert Frith

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