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Friday, July 04, 2008

Regional Clinical Division - University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

New admin and training facility for School of Medicine.
Our brief was to design and deliver a building to house the administration and training facilities for the University of Queensland’s School of Medicine, Rural Clinical Division, South East Queensland Region. The Division focuses on encouraging medical practitioners to take up rural practice through providing positive clinical education and training experiences for medical students in rural areas.

The site is located at the north western corner of the Toowoomba Base Hospital at 152 West Street. The site, which was originally a house block, is flanked on the north by a motel and by the hospital grounds on the south and east boundaries. The new facility is pushed to the rear of the site to create a buffer to the bustle of West Street and to accommodate on site car parking.
The building plan form is lean dictated by the limitation of the site and program. The building shuts down to the East and West by means a series of insitu concrete walls and opens up its long north and south sides with the use of full height glass curtain walling.
The approach to the entry is via a sheltered walkway on the southern boundary flanking the green open space. Entry to the building is via a centrally located double height volume.
The building by way of the brief is broken into 2 components. Training and Administration, with the ground floor accommodating all of the student training and support facilities whilst the first floor accommodates all of the administration facilities.
Rooms are all accessed via a centrally located open ended corridor which has high level windows along its entire length to bring in north light.
The East and West Facades are formed up in insitu white off form concrete. These walls have a series of perforations which increase in density and size across the façade to emphasis the entry. The perforations, which are structurally glazed when they fall within the internal volume, animate the façade both internal and external as a result of changing light conditions.

These blade walls are repeated within the double height entry foyer providing animation and texture to the space. The North and South facades are clad in full height structurally glazed curtain walling. This allows winter sun to penetrate the building and enables great outlooks and views to the north over the suburban district and to the south over the hospital grounds further encouraging the integration with the hospital and creating a pleasant working and training environment.
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