Related Content


  • Search

Designing for Pandemic Preparedness

Design is underway for Australia’s new Institute for Infectious Diseases, led by Wardle, with Wilson Architects, international workplace specialist Studio O+A, and laboratory specialist Perkins and Will.

An initiative of the University of Melbourne, the Doherty Institute and Burnet Institute, the Australian Institute for Infectious Disease (AIID) will bring these foundation partners together in a single building in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct. The Victoria State Government is a Major Supporting Partner.

Set to lead the fight against future pandemics, the $650 million facility will include high-containment facilities that allow scientists to work safely with dangerous infectious pathogens, and a robotic biobank facility to ensure international best practice for specimen storage in large-scale clinical trials.

Designed as a world leading facility of critical research infrastructure, the AIID will be equally a place for people, supporting collaboration between the foundation partners and numerous precinct and industry partners. With the aim of accelerating research and innovation in the fight against infectious diseases.

Project director and Partner at Wardle, Meaghan Dwyer, says that co-locating the AIID’s foundation partners in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct will bring over 1,000 scientists, researchers, multi-disciplinary experts, and professionals together to share world-class research infrastructure and pursue their shared goal to protect Australia and the region against infectious diseases and future pandemics.

'Interdisciplinarity is essential for ground-breaking research. This building will provide a home for the three Foundation Partners while also supporting collaboration between them, and their many precinct and industry partners. This vast collective intelligence will advance Australia’s capability for detecting, preventing, and responding to pandemics and infectious diseases,” Dwyer said. 

Founding Partner at Wardle, John Wardle says that ‘This will be a building for people as much as it is a place of world-class research infrastructure. Despite its vast scale this building will provide warm and empathetic spaces that will support human endeavour, for it is human endeavor that will unlock the challenges we face.’

The new building will sit on the south side of the existing Peter Doherty Institute, a location prominent from the Haymarket Roundabout. While in the early stages of design the singular form of the building will be marked with horizontal striations suggesting an arrangement of parts. The façade will be characterized by low carbon natural materials, perhaps terracotta or stone. The ground floor will offer both collaborative work settings and passage from Elizabeth Street to Berkley Street through a warmly appointed foyer that will be visually connected to external landscaping along Haymarket Walk. The floors above will typically provide laboratories to the north and workspace to the south, taking advantage of indirect natural daylight. Spaces that support collaboration will be arranged throughout the building with key public outreach spaces located at the top habitable level with the benefit of roof lighting and an external rooftop garden.  

University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell said today’s unveiling of the concept design is a significant step forward in the AIID’s development.

“We are thrilled to reveal the plans for the new AIID building. It will be an iconic addition to the world-leading Melbourne Biomedical Precinct and will equip us with the facilities and resources we need to get ahead of the next pandemic.”

The relationship between Wardle and Wilson Architects – specialists in laboratory and medical research – spans 14 years, several of Australia’s premier research bodies and six universities. The San Francisco-based Studio O + A brings renowned workplace planning experience in the life sciences sector in North America. London based Perkins and Will brings world leading expertise in high containment laboratories. Along with Wardle’s appointment as principal consultant, Aurecon is engaged as the lead engineer and project manager.

The AIID project commencement comes as another of Victoria’s major health and research facility opens, the $543 million Victorian Heart Hospital. Designed by Wardle and Conrad Gargett, it is Australia’s first specialist cardiac facility to embed medical research within a clinical care setting. Wardle is also working with NorthWest and Epworth Healthcare on strategic masterplans for two significant sites in Victoria.

Thank you for registering


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor. Aenean massa. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.

By choosing 'submit' you accept the terms of our privacy policy

Thank You

Your subscription has been successful