The Cairns Institute – James Cook University / Woods Bagot + RPA Architects

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Architects: Woods Bagot + RPA Architects
Location: Townsville City,
Area: 4,000 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Woods Bagot + RPA Architects

Courtesy of Woods Bagot + RPA Architects

From the architect. Part of James Cook University (JCU), the Cairns Institute is a brand new tropical research centre with architecture by Woods Bagot and RPA Architects. The design reflects the beautiful, tropical landscape of far north Queensland while also providing a contemporary research and collaboration environment with the highest technological standards.

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Cradled on three sides by rain forested slopes, the site draws the tropical landscape into the heart of the campus, creating a stimulating environment for students and staff.

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Intrinsic to the design proposition is the celebration and enrichment of the Institute’s rainforest backdrop. The facade is layered and evolutionary – the building form is informed by the surrounding landscape, the design goal of this project was to create a building that blurred into the landscape itself

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An evolving landscape skin, a ‘trellis’, defines the building and encapsulates aesthetics and sun control, as well as a variety of micro climate ecologies around the building that are suited to their function and orientation.

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The design also assists in minimising running costs for JCU whilst contributing to the quality of environment, and is in line with the university’s aspiration to achieve a sustainable outcome for the building.

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The design team, led by Woods Bagot Brisbane Principal Mark Damant, has created a building that represents its place and its context while employing innovative architectural elements.

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“A truly imaginative and integrated design solution that was distinctive and uniquely desirable to JCU’s community was paramount,” said Mark. “Attracting the best researchers was a central aim of the university, so it was crucial to create an environment that optimised the working experience to a point where people would love engaging with the building.”

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The Institute, which opened in July 2013, is a repository of regional knowledge and research capacity, perfectly positioned to make a significant contribution to the development of a sustainable quality of life for tropical communities.

Plan
* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "The Cairns Institute – James Cook University / Woods Bagot + RPA Architects" 04 Nov 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=444243>

2 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Whatever the rationale for the trellis, they’ve created a nice climbing wall. Perhaps the researchers can free climb during their breaks.

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