John Curtain School of Medical Research, ANU
Canberra, (Design Competition)
The John Curtin School of Medical Research is renowned throughout the international scientific community for its high standards and landmark scientific discoveries. The School’s innovative culture has been recognised through its Nobel laureates and impressive international profile.
We have carefully investigated the workplace culture of research and developed a strategy built on the natural encounters that occur during the working day. Offices and laboratories are arranged around nodes that support informal interaction.
The design included provision for:
> Animal breeding and holding facilities
> PC2, PC3 laboratories
> Flexible laboratory modules
These nodal groupings are then arranged along a spine to form a linear atrium or street. We have organised the site as a kind of research village that grows along a street or spine.
It is natural for buildings to grow along a street. The ‘street’ is the spine and driver of our design philosophy. The street begins in a new open space with the working title Science Square. This new quadrangle unites the existing Innovations Building and the new Phonemics Building, but is also a clean, crisp representation of the technological component of the school.
The new John Curtin School begins at Science Square, which provides a panoramic outlook over the sports oval and addresses the principal road approaches. The ‘street’ begins with a bold gesture that provides a showcase for the John Curtin School, creating a new iconic statement for the Acton Campus and Canberra.
Australian National University
December 2002 (design competition)