The University of Queensland, Heron Island Research Station

Awarded both a Regional Commendation and a State Architecture Award in 2011, the Heron Island Research Station combines both education and research facilities at the University of Queensland’s remote facilities on the Great Barrier Reef with a flexible approach to enable a diverse array of research.

The facility contains PC2 Labs, external research facilities, aquaria, offices’ teaching labs, interactive spaces, support facilities and accommodation.
Research is undertaken in seven PC2 research labs serviced via two centrally located instrument rooms and support facilities aimed at permitting flexible adaptation to the variety of research undertaken by visiting research groups. In addition to the PC2 laboratories, the Station contains a number of aquaria facilities and external research areas and rigs.

“This remote location project is a rebuild and expansion of facilities completed only four years earlier and destroyed by fire. The revisiting of the site and facilities enabled a post occupancy evaluation to be put into practice resulting in enhanced amenity and a markedly different approach to the architectural form. The revised cluster of buildings uses the original footings to create a lightweight podium that links the cluster of labs. The project explores a new expression of lightweight materiality through the extensive use of incombustible polycarbonate to walls and covered walkways. This selection significantly reduces the energy load whilst lifting the internal light levels to the working areas. The final grouping of residential buildings utilises strong simple forms to create visual interest and variety.”

2011 Australian Institute of Architecture Jury Citation

The University of Queenland
Project value:
$3.5 million
Team members:
Brad Muller
2011 Queensland State Architecture Award; 2011 Central Queensland Architecture Awards Regional Commendation; 2011 Central Queensland Architecture Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture