01 October 2015

Adelaide - The Cheese Grater

Known locally as the Cheese Grater, the Spaceship, the Pine Cone, and the Prickly Pear, the distinctive feature of the new headquarters of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) is undoubtedly its 6,290 triangular windows.

These are hooded in metal against the sun, the depth of the hood varying as one rises up the curve of the building, in accord with the angle of attack of the sun. In conjunction with solid metal panels, the windows give a mesh effect to the fa├žade.

The building, opened in November 2013, appears to float above its North Terrace site, with the structural frame shaped like a tree, expanding from just six beams at ground level to 36 at the top of the structure.

Indeed, it is possible to walk underneath the body of the structure. A large winding staircase connects the building's five floors, the space otherwise kept as open as possible by the Adelaide architects Woods Bagot.

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