PACE stage 1 houses the University of Queensland’s new School of Pharmacy comprising laboratories, research and teaching facilities, offices and carparks to deliver state of the art scientific, teaching and business infrastructure within an innovative collaborative zone, linking academia, science, industry, government, community, research and clinical practice.
The building has been developed in two wings allowing the heart of the site to be developed as a vibrant public plaza space. The separate form of the Lecture Theatre sits above the plaza as a sculptural centrepiece which affords shade and accommodates the indoor-outdoor café. It is strategically landscaped for shade and ambience shifting the emphasis from the physicality of place to embrace a sense of social belonging and community.
The expanse of glazing provides both natural light and facilitates the notion of ‘living laboratories’ through transparency and openness. Additional attributes of this ‘street’ are the covered walkway, the high level projecting canopy, the interface of curtain wall and bay windows and the playful treatment of colour and materials.
The design fully satisfies the criteria of the brief but also provided additional benefit by introducing a range of social spaces throughout the building. Scientists know that new research directions, partnerships and even ‘eureka’ moments often occur in these less formal environments.
The design features flexible laboratory and ancillary spaces with capacity for expansion over time as well as the opportunity to use shared meeting and event facilities within the shared collaborative zone.
PACE was a product of a unique partnership between the pharmacy industry, the education sector and the Queensland Government. The complex nature of the laboratory building and the interrelationship of adjoining building elements, services and support zones necessitated very close and extensive collaboration with specialists in laboratory design, mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, structural and civil engineers, landscape architects, certifiers and disability access consultants. The process was facilitated through a managed user group and design meeting process with specific milestone workshops to sign off key aspects of the building design.
PACE has been designed around a flexible laboratory module with services designed with capacity for expansion and alteration to accommodate developments in technology. In an environment where stringent laboratory requirements limit opportunities for natural ventilation, the building has been designed with numerous terraces and balconies for building occupants to have easy access to the outside.
The desire for natural light and views is carefully balanced against the requirements for the exclusion of direct sun from laboratory spaces by using sunshades. The building was extensively modelled to ensure that the sun shading satisfied the strict statutory controls and the building orientated and configured to control thermal loading.
Building materials have been selected taking into consideration their ESD characteristics. Energy efficient light fittings, zonal control of building services, rainwater harvesting and air-cooled chillers have all been incorporated.
A bike store and end of trip facilities accommodating 60 bicycles has been provided and its location will result in a high proportion of building occupants using public transport, cycling or walking to the facility.