Pure fabrication

Charlotte Juhasz
Monday 13 Dec 2010

Woods Bagot designs largest purpose-built cleanroom complex in the southern hemisphere

The Melbourne Centre of Nanofabrication (MCN) based in Clayton Victoria has been branded by Woods Bagot via the sculptural play of the letter ‘N’; the significant architectural feature for the office pavilion is a three dimensional steel structure that gives the facility a visual identity. “The sculptural play of the letter ‘N’ will uniquely identify the facility on the precinct and to the public. It also functions as a shading device for west facing glazing – simultaneously creating an iconic gateway to MCN’s main entrance,” said Mark Kelly, Director, and Global Leader for Education and Science, Woods Bagot.

Designed as three distinct architectural pavilions that interlock to reflect the different functions and ‘linear’ interconnecting processes for nanofabrication and research, the project called for a very technical and detailed response to the brief; with inspiration being sourced from local and international projects such as the London Centre of Nanofabrication.

“The client group had strong ideas about exactly what specialist research areas were needed – at the core of the centre are the flexible clean-rooms and laboratory spaces, and the final design was delivered through a rigorous consultation process,” continued Mark Kelly, Director, and Global Leader for Education and Science, Woods Bagot.

Also inherent to the design concept was the inclusion of vision windows to avoid staff isolation, and reinforce health and safety benefits enabling staff to see into and see out of all work areas to daylight. High on the agenda were a number of environmentally sustainable initiatives (ESD) such as the building orientation, insulation of panelling systems, water catchments and a lighting control system.

The purpose of the MCN is to fill the gap in Australia for open access, multi-scale fabrication infrastructure, spanning a range of fabrication environments and materials. MCN will provide the means to produce complex micro and nano-science based demonstration devices using an array of tools.

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