The Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence (PACE) project is a unique and visionary concept to create Australia’s leading facility for pharmaceutical research, education and drug commercialisation. PACE is a partnership between the University of Queensland’s School of Pharmacy, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Queensland Government. GHD Woodhead, in association with S2F, designed the architecture and interiors for this landmark project.

This unique health and education project comprises state-of-the-art scientific, laboratory, teaching and commercial business infrastructure within an innovative collaborative zone, liking academia, science and industry, government and community, research and clinical practice. PACE is the product of a unique partnership with complex stakeholder relationships and requirements which needed innovative and creative solutions.

The architectural philosophy behind PACE is to create a precinct that not only provides for world-class research and education, but invites, engages and encourages interest and enjoyment from the general public. To achieve this goal the building envelope has been developed along the site boundaries, while leaving the heart of the site as a public plaza space. The 360 seat lecture theatre built form sits raised, as a sculptural centrepiece, providing courtyard shade and housing the indoor-outdoor café facilities. The plaza also provides ramped pedestrian access to the buildings from the street, extending the public amenity. Landscaping and islands of green planters are deliberately located throughout the site to provide both a verdant atmosphere and shade.