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South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute

Major Urban Research Building Repositions Adelaide as a Health and Medical Research Center

Reinforcing South Australia as a major health and medical research center, the 30,000-square-meter building is positioned alongside the Royal Adelaide Hospital and accommodates up to 700 researchers from around the world. The state-of-the-art facility builds upon quality of the North Terrace Boulevard and provides a resource to both the public and its users to seamlessly interact with its surroundings, showcasing sustainable urban design strategies and successfully interact with Adelaide’s public transport, cycling and walking networks.

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The building form is further expressed by its unique triangulated diagrid facade inspired by the skin of a pine cone. The form responds to its environment, becoming a living organism.


South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure (DPTI)




Adelaide, Australia

Completion Date



25,000 square meters


Commendation, Public Architecture – South Australian Architecture Awards

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Winner, Public Architecture

Winner, Commercial Architecture

Winner, Interior Architecture

Winner, Sustainable Architecture

Winner, Steel in Architecture Colorbond

WAF Awards, Future Project, Health

Shortlist – WAN Awards, Healthcare Unbuilt

Shortlist – WAN Awards, Façade Award

Highly Commended – Design Institute of Australia

Gold, Built Environment

Winner, DIA President’s Award

Winner, Laminex Award – Interior Design Excellence Awards

Shortlist, Public Space – Design & Health International Academy Awards, Future Health Project

Finalist – MIPIM Future Project Awards 2011

Commended – Revit Technology Conference 2014, Innovation Prize (Design Technology Excellence)

Runner-up – Australian Institute of Builders

Professional excellence award, Commercial construction $100 million plus

The arrangement acknowledges its sense of place within the green belt of the Adelaide parklands with a lifted volume that allows the parklands to extend below.

Sitting adjacent from the new hospital, the public spaces will also encourage interaction and exchange by staff, visitors and the general public.

The sculpture qualities of its form aim to inspire the building’s functions and the researchers it hosts.

The lifted building acts to liberate the ground plane to encourage public interaction, while the transparent facade showcases the two atriums inside the building.