Designs for the Food Innovation Precinct, a new state-of-the-art facility being delivered by the Shire of Murray in Western Australia, were recently revealed by award-winning architecture firm i2C Architects.

The Food Innovation Precinct is WA’s newest agriculture and food science hub, based on a vision to inspire the State’s growers and producers to build a vibrant food and beverage manufacturing industry. Western Australia’s agrifood sector is the second highest export market and is recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in quality produce and development.

Located 75km from Perth in the Peel region, a district known for its environmental cultivation and agronomy, the Precinct is designed to primarily serve three sectors: commercial innovation, educational research, and goods production. These facilities will be interconnected with separate departments for food science, marketing, and research and development operations.

The Shire of Murray engaged i2C Architects to create a master plan that encouraged cross collaboration between these sectors, and fostered a sense of unity through design.

Lead architect Chris Egan said the Precinct pays homage to the region’s unique identity through cohesive detailing that balances industrial and agricultural characteristics.

“Our vision was to imbue the facility’s design with a progressive character, developing a unity throughout the precinct with particular form and material selection, whilst maintaining a uniqueness to each of the individual facilities through various combinations of those selections.

“The exposed steel frame and bracing alongside the dark shiplap cladding defines a narrative of farming and agricultural facilities, while natural timber panels are also fashioned to create external harmony that frame the transient social spaces. Unpolished concrete, brickwork and dense landscaping are used to create an external environment that is congenial to the built form,” said Egan.

i2C Architects’ design ensures physical and visual connectivity between each facility, with the master planning phase focussing on the idea of ‘connectivity’ by promoting cross-collaboration between staff, and generating a social atmosphere and in time, a community.

“These external spaces that link the precinct together help generate synergy throughout the aforementioned facilities, while the internal courtyard binds the Precinct together and acts as a bridging ‘social’ zone that encourages user networking,” Egan explained.

Shire President Cr David Bolt said the unique project is expected to bring a billion-dollar boost to Western Australia by enabling up to $330 million in the food and beverage sector, and another $737 million into the wider economy over the next five years.

“There’s nothing quite like this project in Australia – it’s a regional hub for food and agri-tech businesses, offering development and research grants, which translate into between 17 and 51 new food businesses and employment creation of between 169 and 506 jobs,” he added.

i2C Architects is delighted to have developed a design that will assist the region’s growth and continue its legacy.