Exemplary research facility for James Cook University
The Australian Tropical Forest Institute (ATFI) has been designed by Woodhead in association with Power Graham and Dempsey Architects and features specialised laboratories and a commercial research facility.
The research facility is designed to provide a robust and flexible research and learning environment to promote and encourage the sharing of information between the various research groups.
The tropical forest joint venture is recognised as an international centre for tropical landscape research and promotes commercial and sustainable development of the biodiversity contained in tropical forests.
The building occupies a very prominent site on the campus and the architects have utilised the topography to locate one third of the building and all plant areas in a natural depression. The architecture blends with the suite of existing campus buildings.
The ATFI facilitates a synergistic partnership between government and commercial organisations, including conference facilities, offices, PC2 laboratories and a quarantine laboratory.
The Atrium is a key activity zone for impromptu meetings and the casual exchange of information. Its orientation reduces solar gain to external walls, tempers the conditioned air and provides breeze and light.
Other significant considerations were the placement of the Joseph Banks collection in the Herbarium and the need for protection from intruders, cyclones and floods.
The new complex maintains a floor area of 3,100m2 and has been designed to achieve a 4-Star Green Star rating.
The design focuses on sustainable design solutions and information sharing amongst the research groups, and reinforces Australia’s recognition as a world leader in tropical forest research and World Heritage Management.