The UNSW Materials Science & Engineering Building, now formally known as the Hilmer Building, has been opened by the Premier of New South Wales, The Hon. Mike Baird. The facility is designed for Australia’s highest ranked materials and physical science research institute and to further consolidate UNSW’s reputation among the world’s top universities.
The design was based upon a competition-winning proposal, marrying the precise functional and servicing requirements of science laboratories with the need for enhanced interaction between researchers, academics and faculty members.
The building sets a new precedent in laboratory spatial planning with its modular and reconfigurable labs, bound by generous services cores, write-up spaces, offices and meetings rooms all vertically connected through a sequence of voids.
“We have created a new planning typology to evoke the best work from inspired individuals. The architecture’s primary purpose is to enable innovation and research that sets new precedents globally. Invention and creativity arises through the intersection of many people. This new laboratory environment will enable activities to occur in connected ‘research neighbourhoods and academic forums’, stacked both horizontally and vertically across the building, allowing interaction across all levels, all departments and all research programmes.” Andrew Cortese, Partner, Grimshaw.