Sited amidst the CSIRO campus at Kensington in Western Australia, the GHD Woodhead designed Pawsey Supercomputing Centre is custom designed to house one of the world’s largest supercomputers.

Installed over a 12 month period, the first stage of the petascale supercomputing facility was completed in 2013. The unique facility necessitated equally exceptional building requirements, including a 1000 sqm computer hall above a 1300 sqm basement, supported by a 1150 sqm detached annex plant building. GHD Woodhead is responsible for the design of the Pawsey centre’s external shell and interior planning and design. The computer hall features distinct temperature and humidity profiles, aligned with an intensive client brief requiring best practice in energy efficiency.

The supercomputer was brought in from the USA and installation occurred over two phases. The supercomputer is primarily intended for use in high level scientific research projects, though some access will be available to commercial organisations and government agencies. Application will cover all sectors with high level computational needs. The centre also includes a public outreach exhibition space providing a mix of static, audio and visual display material relating to the supercomputer and science projects. The CSIRO envisage that the Pawsey Centre will not just be a place for scientists and researchers, but will also welcome visitor groups including scientists, dignitaries and school children on excursions.