SAHMRI in line for national honours

By / 16th of September, 2014

The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute building has been shortlisted in several categories at the National Architecture Awards.

It follows the building's extraordinary showing at the SA Architecture Awards in July.

The building has been shortlisted for the Public Architecture award, the Sustainable Architecture award, the Interior Architecture award and the COLORBOND Award for Steel Architecture.

Photo: Peter Barnes.
Photo: Peter Barnes.

It was designed by international firm Woods Bagot and is referred to affectionately as "the pinecone", thanks to its emblematic façade.

The SAHMRI building was among 61 projects shortlisted across the country from more than 800 entries.

"The whole project team have been very privileged to work on such a prestigious project," said project leader Anoop Menon.

"It was a completely collaborative project with so many people involved.

"What started off as a vision five years ago is actually falling into place."

The building features open-plan work spaces and connecting corridors, designed to help researchers from different fields "cross-pollinate" ideas.

More than 6000 triangular windows, set in diamond formation, clad the SAHMRI exterior, shaded by hooded metal fenestrations which give the building its iconic texture. Each window hood is proportioned using computer-based engineering so that the sun's warmth is allowed to flood the interior, while the glare is kept out.

The building accommodates nearly 700 researchers and features nine fully-flexible, wet and dry laboratory modules.

Chair of the Australian Institute of Architects' national jury, Paul Berkemeier, said he was impressed by the quality of entries this year.

"The projects that were eligible were of outstanding quality and we believe the resulting shortlist represents the best of the best," he said.

"... we were inspired by the number of projects that had informed clients, working closely with the architects to achieve better outcomes."

The jury visited all shortlisted projects, except international works, during a two-week tour.

Only one other South Australian project was shortlisted. The Sustainable Industries Education Centre at Tonsley TAFE, designed by MPH Architects + Architectus, is competing with the SAHMRI building and four interstate projects in the Interior Architecture category.

The National Architecture Awards will be presented at the Darwin Convention Centre on November 6.

For more information on SAHMRI view our Fact File.

Story originally published on InDaily.