Billard Leece Partnership completes new research facility in Victoria
Deakin University and Barwon Health’s TTR creates an integrated education and research precinct on the site of Geelong Hospital in Victoria’s second largest and fastest growing city. Optimising the natural gradient of the site, the building provides training facilities for health professionals with two floors of expansion space for future growth. Sited within the ‘U’ shaped set of existing heritage buildings a student courtyard space has been created with the TTR connected to the existing buildings by an elevated footbridge leading to a striking metal canopy entrance framing an enticing interior which invites entry.
The entrance gives access to the organising linear top light gallery. The colourful gallery interior sets up a clear wayfinding system binding the building’s two main boxes which provide a clear functional grouping of the teaching and administrative area and the training and research area. These spaces are supported by a gently sloping theatre lecture hall, student/staff lounge and casual breakout area taking advantage of northern and courtyard views. The two boxes, one cubic in shape, the other with a skillion roof, are set above a glazed brick plinth of the car park. Expressed in simple black and white metal cladding, the boxes are overlaid with varying window compositions and patterned brise soleil across the north facing wall.
The brick base enclosing the upper car park references the predominate material of the existing heritage buildings. The brickwork tapers in line with the lecture theatre reinforcing the notion this is an institutional building, not a commercial one. The building mass is broken down vertically using glazed voids and louvres taking its cue from the stairwell treatment of the heritage buildings. At street level the façade is filtered through evergreen trees and edged with massed shrubs. The TTR is a strong, sympathetic addition to the Geelong Hospital campus.