Wilson Architects and Prince Architects have just been selected to design James Cook University’s (JCU) brand new $30 million Cairns Innovation Centre (CIC).
According to JCU Vice-Chancellor Professor, Sandra Harding, the CIC will tap into the region and University’s tropical knowledge and expertise.
“[The CIC] will catalyse and accelerate the translation of research and new business ideas into products and services that are in high demand in the Far North and beyond,” Professor Harding said.
“It will be a place where business people, entrepreneurs, community organisations, researchers, educators and students can work and learn from each other.”
Wilson Architects Director, Hamilton Wilson also commented on the recent announcement, stating that the project will drive economic growth and diversity in Cairns, and attract innovators from around the globe to the city.
“We’re excited to collaborate with JCU on this groundbreaking project,” Mr Wilson said.
“The CIC will serve as an innovation centre to translate research, ideas and ambition into products and processes with real commercial application,” he added.
Reflecting the centre’s name and nature, the building is set to be highly innovative as well, with the two firms using origami as a metaphor for the transformation of ideas and developed a building form which abstractly references this craft.
“Innovation often begins with an idea and needs people and process to further develop it to successful create an elegant solution,” Wilson explained.
“Likewise, origami is an art form that takes the prosaic (a simple piece of paper) and transforms it into something beautiful.”
At night, the building turns into a digital moving graphic, as the façade takes on projected images and colours that can easily be seen from the nearby highway.
The project will create close to 94 full-time construction jobs with construction set to finalise in late 2019.