Royal Flying Doctor Service Charleville Base

Identifying with the Queensland outback vernacular the complex is a series of interconnecting metal ‘sheds’, with carefully selected finishes to connect to the red earth and rural toughness.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service – Base, at the Charleville Airport replaces the existing 1940’s buildings. The core activities of the RFDS(Qld) is to provide medical support to rural Queensland. This requires the housing of the planes, the medical staff, the pilots and the support personal in remote environmentally tough western bases. RFDS has limited funds available to allocate to building works. The rural community is a great supporter of the RFDS and greatly assist with the procurement of these projects, as such ‘value for money’ is required to ensure future support. Regimented anodized aluminium sun shaded panels provide protection and with the tree truck coloured FC panels provide a contrast to the red walls. Zincalume skillion roofs turn down, overlapping and protecting the western and eastern walls, providing accentuated ceiling spaces which open to the south and allow for natural southern light to permeate through the buildings. The entry points are identified with cantilevered metal awnings punching into dark coloured FC recesses in the building façade to direct the visitor. Panel Mini Orb Sheeting soffits; are a reference to the early aircraft fuselages. The interiors are a combination of corporate images, warm timbers and muted bush colours.

The hangar design which is the first of a number of facilities across Qld has provided a recognizable building form and colour scheme which has become representative of RFDS airport facilities. The adjoining Interpretative centre, forms part of the local history trail and houses an extensive  RFDS (Qld) history, enhancing the local tourist platform. DM2 Architecture were selected to design and manage the construction and fitout of not just the RFDS Charleville Base, and Interpretative Centre, but also Charleville Accommodation facility, and the Roma Base; with a total project budget of $6,450,000 for the construction, approvals, consultant’s fees, furniture and fitout. Working closely with a selected Builder (Lanskey Constructions), and selected sub-consultants the group of projects were completed to within $5000 of the clients prescribed budget. In the process, where possible local suppliers and sub-contractors were utilized, which has benefited with ongoing maintenance process. The complex is a rational pragmatic response to the RFDS ethos, locality and the environment.

Royal Flying Doctor Service (QLD)
Project value:
$6.5 million
October 2014
Team members:
Jono Medhurst, William Evans