Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Cairns Institute

Construction to start on JCU's $25m Cairns Institute

Laura Packham
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
© The Cairns Post

Research centre: The Cairns Institute, designed by Woods Bagot and RPA Architects, is scheduled for completion by the end of December 2012 and will be opened in January 2013.

Construction of the new $25 million Cairns Institute will begin at James Cook University Cairns in the coming weeks. 

The centre will become an authority in the tropics for social science and humanities research across 20 study disciplines. Local and Pacific region researchers will meet to explore issues such as poverty, criminology, governance and sustainability.

Cairns Institute director Hurriyet Babacan said about 105 staff would be employed at the new centre."The centre is about enhancing human life in the tropics," she said. "Humanity is facing global challenges from climate change to food security and this is about trying to bring together all of our expertise and enact transformational change."

The centre will have state-of-the-art research facilities and a range of public spaces that include conference, seminar and exhibition rooms and a lecture theatre.About $19.5 million in federal funding was awarded to the project. A further $5.5 million was then contributed by James Cook University.

Woods Bagot and RPA Architects was granted the contract to develop the building after winning a design competition last year. Designer principal Mark Damant said it had been designed to be a tropical research centre of excellence.  ‘‘JCU wanted a research building and also wanted at least half the building to be available for conference and teaching," he said.
The centre is scheduled for completion by the end of December 2012 and will be opened in January 2013.

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