Today, a collision of forces is accelerating changes across the science industry. The pandemic, exponential advances in medical science and genomics, climate change and data-driven technologies are informing the trajectory of our global science ecosystem. In turn, these forces are elevating our potential to design and deliver world-leading infrastructure that supports once-in-a-generation advances in science and technology.
Excitingly, the last few years have seen unprecedented collaboration across
Concurrently, across the public and private sectors, the proliferation of infrastructure to house these breakthroughs and accelerate research and development is welcoming a dawn of scientific innovation that intersects siloed areas of practice.
No force is accelerating more change in the industry than
To support this data-driven revolution, at HDR we are utilising computational design tools and generative design to rapidly prototype solutions, validate metrics faster and evaluate manipulated parameters in real time. These progressive workflows and parametric modeling allow us to test specific performance needs in highly complex, technical buildings such as the Macquarie University STEM Masterplan and NextDC Merlot 3 data centre. They also enable us to approach the environmental, economic, cultural and societal factors associated with these facilities more holistically.
In this new era, data-driven, digital technologies are also optimising adjacencies and affinities for better transference of knowledge. Silos are being broken down, markets are converging, and integrated innovation hubs and research precincts are promoting connections at all scales.
Global Meets Local
None of this would be possible, however, without our global-meets-local approach. Every day, we pair our global scientific knowledge base and local expertise with technical rigour and creativity to design solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. Our borderless approach means we have readily available, real-time access to a global knowledge exchange, and research and data that can help us forecast, predict and deliver science outcomes across our island nation.
We have fostered an intrinsic culture of sharing that helps us unlock unrealised potential and create world-leading infrastructure across education, life sciences, physical sciences and translational health sciences every day.
Labs of the Future
By leveraging this global-meets-local approach, we know that accelerated global advancements in medical science are expected to fuel industry growth and demand for laboratories down under. Excitingly, the next generation of translational research facilities will see the convergence of precision diagnostic medicine, bioinformatic artificial intelligence and therapeutic developments, particularly in the fields of cancer, neuroscience, pediatrics and infectious disease research.
As such, interconnected laboratory ecosystems of data, platforms, instruments and advanced analytics tools are already being rapidly designed and delivered to equip scientists, researchers and partners with the resources and infrastructure they need to tackle of some our most complex health challenges.
Examples include our HDR-designed Cedars-Sinai Biomanufacturing Centre, University of Pennsylvania’s Pennovation Centre, UNSW Science and Engineering Building, and, more recently, the University of Sydney’s Biomedical Accelerator, designed in collaboration with
A Containment Lens
With the emergence of new diseases, increasing drug resistance and discoveries in genetic engineering across the globe, there is also an increased demand in
The HDR-designed Pirbright Institute Plowright Building and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new, highest-level biosafety Emerging Infectious Disease Laboratory are two global examples which led us to form a BioDesign Collaborative here in Australia with Aurecon and Wood to design new laboratory spaces for national science agency, CSIRO as part of their refurbishment of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness. By future-proofing their extensive high-containment laboratories, we will ensure the continuation of CSIRO’s capability to prevent and respond to exotic and emerging animal and zoonotic diseases in Australia.
A New Dawn
Crises often breed innovation and evolution and, in this new dawn, the capacity for digital transformation in science is enabling a more sustainable, resilient and equitable global ecosystem. As a project leader and architect who specialises in science, education, research and innovation, it’s certainly an exhilarating time to be working in the sector. Ultimately, by sharing some of these ideas, I hope to provoke transdisciplinary innovation, knowledge-transference and collaboration across the practice for many years to come.
Graeme Spencer is national director of science and education at HDR. His work spans a variety of architectural settings, including heading the design and execution of major infrastructure, education, healthcare, advanced research, arts and cultural projects throughout the United Kingdom, Middle East and most recently Australasia.