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The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

Architect: Grimshaw with Billard Leece Partnership, 2014

In January 2020, the Doherty Institute received global recognition as the first lab outside of China to grow SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and the first to share it with the World Health Organization. Since then, the Doherty Institute has been at the forefront of the global COVID-19 response.

Hear firsthand from the Institute’s inaugural Director – and Melburnian of the Year 2014 – Professor Sharon Lewin AO, and the building’s architect, Grimshaw Partner Neil Stonell, how the Institute was in fact purpose-designed to respond to a pandemic.

In addition to sharing rarely-seen footage from inside the Institute’s most secure areas as well as the drawings and sketches which led to the actual building, Professor Lewin and Neil Stonell will delve into the Institute’s design strategies and planning principles. They will also discuss its high-performance envelope and interface with the public realm; the importance of collaboration in design and science as well as the ground-breaking work the Institute is spearheading.

Photos: Peter Bennetts


Purpose-designed to respond to a pandemic

The Institute is a joint venture between Melbourne Health and the University of Melbourne, colocating seven organisations to create an infection and immunity powerhouse combining research, public health and education.

The Institute is home to one of the largest high containment laboratories in Australia – level 3 containment is needed to work on organisms such as HIV, tuberculosis and influenza and level 4 containment for organisms like Ebola and SARS.

Photos: 1-8 – Peter Bennetts, 9-10 – Cameron Conwell.

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