The $7.5 million, Hames Sharley designed redevelopment of Loxton Research Centre is set to showcase South Australia’s extraordinary River Murray region and promote its reputation as a leader in agriculture and producer of premium food and wine.
Upgrades to the centre, which began in 2015, culminated in a grand opening conducted by South Australian State Premier Jay Weatherill in February, an event attended by Hames Sharley architect Saralee Aufderheide.
“The centre has been at the forefront of agricultural research for over 50 years, so our challenge was to create a design concept that met the highest modern standards of aesthetics while still delivering a sustainable and functional response to allow the vitally important work undertaken there to continue into the next 50 years,” Saralee said.
At the official opening, the State Premier added: “This redevelopment will foster a new era of innovation and collaboration and grow our State’s global reputation as a leader in sustainable agriculture in a clean, green environment”.
The contemporary, new building sits beside the existing centre and accommodates multi-function flexible conference rooms and offices. The design team’s approach allowed for a strong connection between the external design and the interior space. The overall concept was inspired by the agricultural richness of Loxton and the broader Riverland. The design palette incorporates the regional hues of warm timber and copper evoking the natural feel of the earth, while the blue carpet hues represent the River Murray and its strong irrigation industry.