New facility designed to keep staff and students in the loop
This new four level building at The Australian National University in Canberra accommodates three Colleges specialising in international relations and comparative politics.
Located at one of the University’s principal entry gateways, the building forms the hub of a new international studies precinct.
Its hexagonal plan form references the adjacent Coombs Building, metaphorically connecting the new building to this important ANU landmark and its originating role in the development of international studies in Australia.
As an object in-the-round the building emphatically marks its urban street corner. The form is cut through on the principal facade, connecting inside and outside and framing views to the surrounding Canberra hills.
The ground floor accommodates the Centre’s public spaces – foyer, discursive teaching and lecture rooms, seminar spaces and a public cafe - all arranged around a central forum space.
The upper levels accommodate the work, study and research spaces for Centre staff, visitors and students. Offices for quiet reflective work are located around the outer perimeter. The inner offices are positioned around the central forum space.
The hexagonal floor plan generates a continuous ‘loop’ which links together shared meeting, utility and work spaces. This active spine acts as a public street on each level and promotes interactivity and exchange. Two open timber staircases link the four levels of the building.
The building’s exterior is constructed from digital pre-cast concrete panels incised with horizontal meridians.
The contrasting interior space is lined with Australian timbers which reference the wooded landscape of the ANU campus.