Charles Perkins Centre University of Sydney

Charles Perkins Centre University of Sydney

The Charles Perkins Centre University of Sydney is a research and education hub at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia. Designed by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp with Building Studio (architects in association),the building primarily focuses on three of Australia’s biggest health epidemics–diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and as well as other related conditions.

Construction on the AUD$350 million Charles Perkins Centre began in 2012 and it formally opened in June 2014. The centre is named after Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins, the first man of Aboriginal descent to graduate from the University of Sydney. The centre’s academic director is Professor Steve Simpson. The building is located within close proximity to the Royal Prince Alfred health precinct.

The Charles Perkins Centre was named in honour of Perkins, the first Aboriginal graduate of the University of Sydney and the first Indigenous male to graduate from an Australian university. Construction began in late 2013. It was built on a budget of $385 million. Perkins serves as the symbolic face of the centre, aimed at researching and finding solutions to various illnesses, with over 900 clinicians, students and researchers. Professor Steve Simpson said that “He [Perkins] sought to lead collaborations in situations where a single person or agency could not deliver. In the same way, the Charles Perkins Centre looks beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to improve the health of individuals, communities and the nation”. Perkins’ wife, Eileen and their daughters Hetti, Rachel and son Adam attended the black-tie opening of the building in June 2014.

Obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are the leading causes of death, disability and reduced quality of life in Australia.The centre can house 950 researchers, with both wet and dry laboratory spaces. The interior atrium is reminiscent of the atrium inside the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. The full-height atrium features curved balconies and interconnecting sweeping stair cases, serving as the structural expression of the building’s purpose.