Parking pressures around Cairns Base Hospital have eased since the opening of the hospital’s new car park located in Block E.
The new eight-storey car park provides 667 parking spaces and is an important milestone in the construction of the $446.3 million Cairns Base Hospital redevelopment. In addition to the car park facility, Block E also houses the Liz Plummer Cancer Care Centre and the hospital’s new radiation oncology services.
Design of the building came out of a joint venture between Jackson Architects, MSJ and FaB Architects. The result is a stunning building that looks like anything but a car park. Gone is the traditional car park design brief of safety and privacy without any opportunity for evocative expression. Instead, Block E celebrates its position as one of the most recognizable buildings in Cairns by lighting up the skyline with both colour and texture. The use of louvre profiles facing in opposite directions from floor to floor, coupled with bright yellow fins, effectively hides away the cars inside the building, yet provides abundant natural light and ventilation internally. The end result is the appearance of multiple planes of seemingly solid form to break up the empty hollow of each level.
Hi-Light Industries was involved in the design of the facade system, providing a solution to the crucial fixing detail for the colourful fins and louvre panels. Hi-Light manufactured the louvres used in the facade on each level as well as the large cantilevered grating panels that seem to wrap and protect the building. Laing O’Rourke was the builder, with installation of the Hi-Light products by Cairns Steel Fabricators.
Performance was as critical as the design aesthetic and Hi-Light provided the perfect solution, with products that have been tested and rated for cyclonic debris. It then survived the real test when Cyclone Yasi crossed the North Queensland coast earlier this year.
For nearly 30 years, Hi-Light aluminium screens have been custom designed and manufactured in Australia from local materials. Thousands of successfully completed projects for leading architects and builders in Australia and around the world are testimony to the comprehensive testing, care and research performed on Hi-Light products.