David Penington Bio21 Institute

Bio21 brings together The University of Melbourne, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and The Royal Melbourne Hospital (Melbourne Health) to create Australia’s largest prestigious centre of research, development and commercial activity.

Through close collaboration with user groups and specialist services consultants DesignInc achieved a design that is highly flexible and adaptive to the changing needs of the occupants. Inspiration for the design originated in the cell nucleus and the associated structure is interpreted figuratively throughout the complex in the form of breakout spaces. The cellular form was also used to soften the east and west elevations. Stage one comprised two building blocks containing laboratories and offices, joined by an atrium space.

Research laboratories, laboratory support areas and office spaces form the core function of the building. All other components are built around and interlink this central axis. The modular approach maximises future flexibility whilst maintaining core function density.

As Bio21 attracts international scientists of the highest calibre, the creation of information ‘breakout pods’ promotes the sharing of ideas both within and outside of the laboratory space. These gathering spaces provide an environment that promotes the sharing and dissemination of ideas.



The University of Melbourne

2006 Property Council of Australia (Victoria) Public Building Award

2006 Property Council of Australia (Victoria) Overall Award

2005 Science Industry of Australia ‘Lab of the Year’

2005 RAIA Marion Mahony Interior Architecture Award