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The Royal Flying Doctors Service – Mount Isa Base was awarded the highest honour at the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2012 North Queensland Regional Architecture Awards. It received a Regional Commendation and the Walter and Oliver Turnbridge Award for Building of the Year.

A project consisting of prefabricated and flat-packed buildings, the buildings were planned around a densely landscaped courtyard which would provide shade, evaporative cooling, visual amenity and improved air quality for the occupants. The project’s passive cooling strategy included:

  • Wide eaves to protect the buildings’ north and south elevations from the sun
  • Strategically located services and storerooms to protect the conditioned spaces from the east and west
  • Operable high-level louvres for natural ventilation and night cooling

In addition to these, a low-tech mixed mechanical cooling strategy was introduced to reduce the building’s reliance on an air conditioning system:

  • Mode one operates the industrial sized ceiling fans and promotes airflow
  • Mode two operates an evaporative cooling system, delivering fresh, pre-cooled air to the office space
  • Mode three operates an air conditioning system to combat the hottest days

The three modes can be used in isolation or combined to collectively reduce the load on the air conditioning system.

The courtyard plan was intended to promote segregation, privacy and security between office and clinical areas. The design also meant after-hours entry into meeting rooms and amenities was possible for external community events.

“Mathieu was integral to the success of this project…. It has been a pleasure to work with Mathieu, and I would have no hesitation in recommending him for any architectural projects.”

Project Manager, Royal Flying Doctor Service

Royal Flying Doctor Service (Qld Section)
Mt Isa, Queensland
Hutchinson Builders
Bligh Tanner (Structural & Civil Engineers)
LEHR Consultants (Services Engineers)
Brett Beeson (Environmental Consultant)
Catherine Brouwer (Landscape Architect)
Project completed while at APA and reviewed by several mentors including:
Peter Roy
Leigh Shutter
Fedor Medek
Garth Hollindale
Rex Addison
Jon Henzell (Camera Obscura)