2016 National Architecture Awards: Interior Architecture Award

University of Queensland Oral Health Centre by Cox Rayner Architects with Hames Sharley and Conrad Gargett Riddel Interior Architecture: National Award Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

The University of Queensland’s Oral Health building proves that even large institutional buildings can successfully deliver carefully detailed spaces while also tackling larger problems, in this case the stress and anxiety issues commonly associated with working in dentistry. The suicide rate of dentists is more than twice that of the general population and almost three times higher than that of other white-collar workers, while the number one killer of dentists is cardiovascular disease, commonly linked to high stress levels.

A series of interior and exterior spaces unfold here, skilfully addressing climate and responding to the sloping eucalypt landscape that the building is sited within. Over thirty percent of its floor plate is naturally ventilated. Moving away from the confined spaces typically found in dental surgeries, which are a significant contributor to anxiety levels, these consultation suites are constructed with views outwards and through adjoining spaces to create openness and relief. The architect has encouraged social interaction through the planning of open corridors and highly resolved communal working spaces. Throughout the teaching areas and the functional dentistry suites, open to the public, runs a balanced material palette of off-form concrete, rich timbers, accents of green and a variety of carefully selected tiles, all of which humanize the spaces and deinstitutionalize the building.

Read the project review by John de Manincor from Architecture Australia Sept/Oct 2015.


Design architect
Cox Rayner Architects
Project Team
Michael Rayner (principal design director); Casey Vallance (project director); Shane Horswill (site architect); Richard Coulson, Peter Hale (project architects); , Stanton Kroenert, Karl de Beer, Barry Vos, Ervin Fontant, Madeleine Webb (senior graphic designers); Kara West (graphic designer), Mark Shay, Perry Gustafsson (senior architectural technicians); Ali Farmer, Greg Wines, Stephen Gunn (project architects); Kate Bell, Charlotte Churchill (interior designers); Troy Rafton, Leon McBride, Julian Farrell (3D visual artists);
Health Planning Architect
Hames Sharley
Acoustic consultant Ron Rumble
Architect Conrad Gargett Riddel
Builder Lend Lease
Certifier Certis Group
Civil and structural engineer Aurecon
Electrical engineer Aurecon
Facade engineer Meinhardt Facade Technology
Fire and hydraulic consultant McKendry Rein Petersen
Fire engineer Aurecon
Heritage architect Michael Scott (Conrad Gargett Riddell)
Hydraulic engineer MRP
Kitchen design Food Service Design Australia
Landscape RPS Group
Mechanical engineer Multitech Solutions
Project manager Kim Wishart (University of Queensland)
Quantity surveyor Rider Levett Bucknall – Melbourne
Services consultant McKendry Rein Petersen
Signage Dot Dash
Superintendent's representative Capital Insight
Traffic and transport TTM Consulting
Site Details
Location Brisbane,  Qld,  Australia
Site type Suburban
Category Commercial, Health, Public / commercial
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2015



Published online: 3 Nov 2016
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2016
Images: Christopher Frederick Jones


Architecture Australia, November 2016

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