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Queensland Emergency Operations Centre
The Queensland Emergency Operations Centre (QEOC) at Kedron Park incorporates world's best practice technology for the management of emergency communications and disaster coordination to the state. Architectus' approach to the design of the complex was twofold:
1. To ensure the provision of highly efficient and technically integrated spaces that would answer to the demands of a complex state-of-the-art management facility.
2. To provide a calming and well-organised environment that would create a comfortable setting for workers involved in high stress management operations.
The project, undertaken for the Queensland Department of Community Safety, is also designed to high environmental standards with Green Star design certification at a 5-star rating. This has been achieved both in terms of the Centre's construction and its long-life operation.
The operational aspects of QEOC (Communications and Disaster Management) are housed in two parallel wings with their long elevations oriented north south, allowing for efficient control of environmental conditions, light and air.
Overall, QEOC is integrated with existing buildings on the site and is designed to create a ‘campus' feel among a suite of elements both new and old. The design intent of this arrangement is to have the new facilities reorganise the site around a simple and efficient hierarchy based on clear visual and movement links. A new entry space and pedestrian spine anchors the whole and gathers buildings and courtyards along its length. While the complex requires strict levels of secure enclosure the intent is to play down those distinctions, allowing spaces to link as naturally as possible through a newly designed sequence of open and closed courtyards and rooms.
With great importance placed on the comfort of employees dealing with stressful situations day to day, the design incorporates opportunities for breakout spaces from the secure facilities housed in the Centre's main wings. These include:
- A pedestrian spine doubling as a collaborative social space where employees can interact outside the more strictly defined work environment.
- Landscaped courtyards placed between the buildings with generous timber decks that provide important recreational or ‘retreat' spaces.
With respect to materials, the choice of recycled hardwood for the timber screens of the decks also provides a calm enclosing feel to the external spaces.
Both buildings of the QEOC complex have a broad central work zone with an 1800mm cantilevered circulation zone down either side - a distinction which is also expressed structurally. Opening up the edges of the plan creates a filtering effect of space and light through the depth of the buildings, providing important relief to internal spaces while maintaining the provision of functionally efficient and secure work facilities within. The material expression of the larger interior workspaces as perforated plywood lined pods creates a sense of warmth while also providing effective noise dampening. Quiet rooms for the use of workers sit adjacent the circulation edge with courtyard views.
Overall, Architectus' intent has been to make effective provision for a highly technical and exacting brief while also providing humanised spaces with appropriate fit to Brisbane's subtropical environment.
- Queensland Government, Department of Community Safety
- Kedron Park, Queensland
- Floor area
- 6200 m²
- Original value
- John Grealy
- AIA 2011 Brisbane Regional Commendation
- AIA 2011 Public Architecture State Award
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