Synergy, CSIRO


Synergy redefines scientific workplaces enterprise wide and creates a highly imagamatic architecture. To enable this, a bespoke workplace strategy determined the form and architecture internally; and externally created a solution that is truly designed from the inside out resulting in an integrated highly deterministic workplace building bespoke to its “place”.

The Black Mountain forest provides fertile material for developing the manifestation of site specificity – the extraordinary colour and tactile range of barks, plants and leaves enabled the development of the ephemera of the building – the enveloping sunscreen – to bring a visual complexity, ambiguity and diversity to the whole.

The very different functional performance of the two components – workplace and laboratories – required different daylight and sun control solutions; maximising diffuse daylight in the workspace and ensuring no direct sunlight in the laboratories.

This resulted in the abstraction of those leaves, barks and colours in a multi-coloured and multi-shaped suspended sunscreen over the facade of the workplace (the upper plane of each triangulated aluminium plank acts as a sunscreen and the lower plane enables viewing out to the landscape and down to the ground plane). This screen is highly porous from inside the workplace connecting people inside the building with the landscape which in many cases is the subject of their research.

A unique workplace environment has been created – the brief for contemplative workspace has been fulfilled by bespoke workstations designed to enable concentrated work whilst being part of the openness of the plan.

CSIRO was interested in bringing sustainable initiatives to the building – depending on cost and effectiveness. The collaboration between the client scientific group, Steensen Varming, Aurecon and BVN resulted in two primary sustainable directions – ventilation and daylight.