Architecture firm Woods Bagot recently completed the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), a world-class research facility located in the heart of Adelaide. Clad in a striking, triangulated dia-grid facade, the building's "living skin" uses passive solar design that responds to the sun’s position. Designed as part of a sustainability initiative, SAHMRI is on track to become Australia's first LEED Gold certified laboratory building.
Inspired by the skin of a pinecone, Woods Bagot created a responsive, spiky facade that adjusts to reduce the effects of heat load, sun glare, and wind while allowing high amounts of natural daylight to permeate through the building. The spiky, transparent facade also serves to showcase the building’s interior and enhance sweeping views out to the nearby parklands. Elevated off the ground, the diamond-shaped building’s ground level opens out to the surrounding environment.
Inside, SAHMRI is defined by two atria that help maximize the flow of natural light and encourage collaboration between researchers. An interconnecting spiral stair strengthens both visual and physical connectivity throughout the building and the creation of ‘flower columns’ reduced the number of required support columns. With nine fully flexible wet and dry laboratory modules, the flagship health and medical center will be able to house up to 700 researchers.