Intelligent channeling of pedestrian traffic supports open dialogue in research HQ
The new headquarters for the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (formerly WAIMR) was launched on 11 March 2014 by Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. The high spec 10-storey building is at the heart of the Perth's premier new research precinct on the QEII Medical Centre, housing over 700 researchers from University of Western Australia and other affiliates from the former WAIMR.
Hames Sharley abandoned the formula used by other architecture firms to design research buildings and laboratories, described typically as a 'three-layered cake': two layers of laboratories and one layer of offices. During an extensive consultation period, Hames Sharley dissected and investigated what type of design would function to truly nurture good research.
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.
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.