This project brings together 1000 scientists from four state science agencies and six divisions of CSIRO across eight sites into a single collaborative research environment to facilitate sharing, economies of scale, knowledge exchange, innovation and discovery. The facility is a composition of labs and offices with a series of support spaces including a staff library, conference facilities, various staff breakout, meeting rooms and a cafe.
The very nature of this purpose built scientific research laboratory, was inspired by three of the mainstream sciences which are carried out at the facility; being marine sciences, terrestrial / land sciences and air sciences. These themes were applied in order of layers of the earth starting with marine on level one, terrestrial (or land science) on level two and air sciences on level three. Ground was treated as the core of the earth and took on very subdued green / brown tones.
The catalyst for utilising timber within the three levels of the the building was the desire to return to nature, reflecting the scientific work and research that is undertaken within the departments housed here.
The timber has been used to create a common thread, used in ceilings, wall panelling and joinery. The timber claddings have been used to offset the dynamic forms of workplace environment planning and playfulness of graphic colour. They also represent the collaboration between different departments.
In keeping with the visual methodology, the construction techniques echo the intent of permanence with tongue & groove and concealed biscuit jointing allowing timber boards to be combined on mass and plywood articulated in dynamic abstract panel formations.
The critical driver for material specification for the project was sustainability and recycled timbers. The design intent for the building was to include the use of recycled timber throughout, however, this didn’t eventuate due to alternate material selection by project managers and budget constraints.
The timber embodies a level of comfort to the workplace which differentiates it from others.