Griffith University Health Centre

Gold Coast, Queensland

Griffith University Health Centre is the first tertiary education building in Australia to combine all of a university’s health and medical disciplines in one facility. It provides services to the public in each of these disciplines.

The building consists of two main parts. The larger 10 level building vertically stacks the disciplines. Each level integrates teaching and research which are applied in practice along the two ground levels that serve public patients.

The second, 4 level building stacks auditoria over the university’s main bookshop and a public engagement centre with an atrium breezeway connecting them into the large building’s lower levels. This approach facilitates the ‘reading’ of the whole as a public rather than institutional place.

Our way of obviating the problem of laboratory-dominant regimentation – there are over 500 in the building – was to refer back to Alvar Aalto’s ethos of ‘flexible standardisation’. The strategy was to externalise every non-laboratory space such that they form an undulating, punctuated envelope engaging the campus and public realm.

The architectural language developed from this approach into a layering of form, space and detail with our particular interest being how light in a subtropical climate falls upon and illuminates surfaces, imparting an ephemeral quality and a sense of blurred divisions between the diverse health and medical disciplines. The building is renowned for its interdisciplinary research, teaching and practice, but also for its transformational impact on how universities dissolve boundaries between campus and public space.

  • Awards
  • Technical Information
  • Cox Team

State Award for Educational Architecture, AIA QLD 2015

Shortlisted in Health, WAF 2015

In association with
Hames Sharley
Griffith University
Project Status
Completed, 2010-2013
Key Consultants
Omnii, Bornhorst & Ward, MultiTech Solutions, Aurecon, Tract Consultants, MRP, Renzo Tonin & Associates, BCA Consultants
Contractor / Builder
Laing O'Rourke
Gross Floor Area
Alex Leese
Private: Andrew Kimmins
Perry Gustafsson