Uni SA Cancer Research Institute

WGA carried out the structural and civil design for the University of South Australia’s new $230m Cancer Research Institute (CRI). Opened in 2018, the 14-storey building is a unique high-profile landmark and an integral part of the South Australian Health and Biomedical Precinct on North Terrace alongside the new SAHMRI building.  A new urban park is suspended above ground level linking it to the University of Adelaide’s Integrated Clinical School. 

The CRI houses the Centre for Cancer Biology, connecting UniSA with 250 of Australia’s top cancer and health researchers. The building features innovative multidisciplinary research laboratories, practice-based teaching areas and clinical spaces designed to foster the next generation of nursing and allied health graduates. At street level is Adelaide’s first Science Creativity Education Studio intended to inspire younger visitors by raising their awareness of science in an exciting and creative way. 

The project was designed to meet the international standard LEED Gold Star rating which, along with SAHMRI, is the highest level achieved in Adelaide.  WGA incorporated water sensitive urban design (WSUD) techniques to treat stormwater runoff within our civil design of the new Urban Park, which is a garden parkland suspended over the basement level that links to the new University of Adelaide’s Health and Medical Sciences Building. 

The site provided the design team with many challenges, the perhaps the greatest being the need to provide for a future rail tunnel. This required one edge of the building to be cantilevered.  Of the 62 perimeter precast feature columns only 36 of these actually extend to ground and are load bearing. The building is designed to withstand a further 10 of these being destroyed by train impact due to its close proximity to the rail line.  A large transfer truss supporting all 14 storeys was incorporated to accommodate a new publicly accessible road passing underneath the building that services the entire precinct.

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