Home' Commercial : Commercial 2015 Contents 166 SCOOP Commercial Building & Design
he director of Menzies School of
Health Research had a clear vision
when he approached Hames Sharley
to design a new building for the
The new building had to be iconic, and make
a statement that the Indigenous and tropical health
research institution of 30 years has come of age,
and was very much part of the 21st century.
It also had to be designed to suit the tropical
environment in the top end, and be open and light,
with bright colours in general areas.
Hames Sharley’s highly skilled and dedicated
team has delivered a spectacular project that not
only fulfilled the client’s needs and design brief
but exceeded it.
The analogy of a tree with spreading shade was
used in discussions with stakeholders to develop
an appropriate design language.
This concept was taken from traditional practice
in regional Indigenous communities, where senior
members would sit nearest the trunk within the
deepest shade while younger members would sit
on the edge, listening to stories.
The interiors are designed with colours,
patterns and themes inspired by the local regions
and culture, using an eclectic mix of interesting
patterns and colour schemes.
Keeping the building to two storeys respects the
human scale, and significantly reduces costs for
construction, structure and fire protection.
High ceilings are combined with low-
turbulence ceiling fans throughout, which
creates comfortable conditions at higher air
temperatures and reduces energy consumption.
The fans operate at low speed and provide
high airflow for cooling with low turbulence and
minimal wind noise.
Floor-to-ceiling glass maximises daylight
penetration and external views, with deep
eaves preventing solar gain and protecting
MENZIES SCHOOL OF
The Menzies School of Health Research at Charles Darwin University incorporates an innovative
approach to thermal comfort and tropical design.
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