Works wrap up at stunning JCU EIP building

State-of-the-art James Cook University Engineering and Innovation Place in Townsville opens its doors.

Works wrap up at stunning JCU EIP building
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The new state-of-the-art Engineering and Innovation Place (EIP) at James Cook University’s (JCU) ‘Bebegu Yumba’ Campus has welcomed students following the completion of construction by BESIX Watpac.


Featuring 23 new lab spaces, a multi-modal studio, garage innovation space and multiple studios, the building is the centrepiece of an innovation hub at the university. It also offers a place for STEM disciplines to collaborate, innovate and learn.

The building is the third on the JCU ‘Bebegu Yumba’ Campus that has been constructed by BESIX Watpac, and one of five in the company’s portfolio with JCU.

With a client-contractor relationship that spans 15 years, BESIX Watpac’s collaborative approach was instrumental in successfully delivering the highly complex EIP building.

BESIX Watpac General Manager QLD, NT & NZ Wade Cummins acknowledged the efforts of the project team in reaching this milestone.

“It’s been an extremely challenging project having been delivered over a difficult time in the market, and the building also features very complex elements that required extensive collaboration, planning and agility,” Mr Cummins said.

“Well done to our team and all involved for working through these challenges and remaining focused on an exceptional outcome – a facility that will take the STEM education offering in North Queensland to another level.”

BESIX Watpac Northern Area Manager Glen Watson commented on the project’s complexity.

“It’s a remarkable building unlike any other that we’ve delivered in the region - almost every aspect is bespoke.”

“Multiple teams have worked together to bring the finished product to life precisely in line with the project architect’s vision and all parties involved are very happy with this world-class building,” Mr Watson said.

Some of the features include:

-         A very large overhang to the front corners of the building

-         An expansive atrium

-         An internal steel cantilevered stairwell

-         Extraordinary timber-lined oculus that allows natural light in

Timber features prominently both inside and outside of the building including the façade that also incorporates glass and zinc finishing materials.

“It gives me an immense sense of pride to be part of a great team who together delivered this stunning piece of infrastructure for JCU,” Mr Watson said.

Image credit: Andrew Rankin

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