Construction has started on a research and education centre at the University of Sydney’s Camperdown campus, with Brookfield Multiplex appointed the construction contractor.
The Charles Perkins Centre, by FJMT in association with Building Studio Architects and Brookfield Multiplex, aims to improve the diagnosis and treatment of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease through the provision of state-of-the-art research and education facilities.
Spanning 46,700 square metres, the centre will create a new social and educational precinct for 950 researchers and 1,455 students across a variety of disciplines and campuses. Close to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, the faculties of medicine, science and veterinary science, and the Centenary Institute, and adjacent to St John’s College, the centre will cater for multidisciplinary research across biomedical sciences, bioinformatic and computational biology, and clinical research and behavioural science.
Laboratory spaces that require less direct visual connection with the external environment are placed to the north-west to absorb solar load and office, and dry research spaces are on the south-east, where a courtyard is provided at ground level. This enables an efficient design, refined floorplate and simpler energy model that delivers desired reductions in capital and recurrent expenditure without the need for previously proposed sustainable elements of geothermal bores, trigeneration and double-skin facade. An internal atrium with an interconnecting sweeping stair is designed to encourage engagement and expression of the collaborative nature of research.
The northern facade is to be sandstone clad, with window reveals to reflect the Gothic architecture of St John’s College. The southern elevation – an aluminium and glass curtain wall – looks out to the Centenary Institute.
The centre was named in honour of the late Dr Charles Perkins, who in 1965 became the first Indigenous graduate from the University of Sydney. He received an Order of Australia in 1987, was named the NAIDOC Aboriginal of the Year in 1993 and has also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Sydney.
Construction is currently underway, with Brookfield Multiplex scheduled to complete works by late 2013.