Charles Perkins Centre
Camperdown, Sydney, Australia
Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney provides a facility for research into the cause and treatment of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The facility caters for over 2000 researchers and students. Charles Perkins was the first Aboriginal man in Australia to graduate from university.
The environmental graphics represent the approach of an integral design for the centre from the basement levels up to the top floor.
The design for the environmental graphics was created from the guiding principles of motion, ribbons and flow. The concept of motion is expressed by building elements shifting or turning on each floor level.
The Vinyl graphics applied to glazing and solid surfaces cover an area of 900sqm, the safety vinyl applied to glazing measures 800 meters in length.
The design of the graphics integrates seemingly contrasting themes: Indigenous culture and modern medicine. The colour scheme utilizes a warm and earthy palette. Circular motifs and organic shapes develop in repetitive sequences, spanning not just the height of one level, but extending over multiple levels.
The atrium is a central hub of activity from which the open space, corridors and flowing curves of the architecture connect. The linear journey from the atrium to other sections of the building is reflected through gradual shifts in the visual language of the graphics. Repetitive hexagons, a symbol of DNA and molecules, appear in fluctuating solidity and transparency over the glass walls of the laboratories. This change from organic to clinical imagery serves as a subtle wayfinding cue, differentiating between the different parts of the building.
Much like the biology of the human body, the flowing elements of the building extend and connect like arteries. The graphics are an integral component of the space, not only as a visual display, but also as a navigational feature.