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Advanced Engineering Building, Brisbane, Australia 
Monday 28 Feb 2011
 
Precision engineered 
 
HASSELL 
 
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03/07/13 Frank, Brisbane
This is a badly designed building.

It looks pretty, I guess nowadays in the modern world of image that counts for the most. Too bad like many thing based on image, it actually is deficient in basic functionality.

$130 million for a building that utilizes approximately 2/3-3/4 of the land area on which it is built. Very very very poor.

Acoustics, very poor! Glass, timber, and concrete equals extremely poor noise dampening ability. Ever marveled at the acoustics at the squash courts. Glass office partitions (where they have been installed) are not floor to ceiling, so again very poor noise mitigation.

The proposed solution to the anticipated open office noise problems, this is good, in fact brilliant! Hold a meeting, tell office residents to not use mobile phones whilst in the office (is this to encourage them to use the hardwired office phones? 10 out of 5 stars for this logic!). Unofficially encourage them to invest in headphones, earplugs, ear muffs.

Why headphones, earplugs, earmuffs do you wonder? (apart from the headphones and its potential to make you deaf and therefore by default make the office space seem quieter, my bad, note to myself: don't discriminate against the future deaf!).

These offices will be noisy environments, you have people coming and going, impromptu discussions, skypeing on computers, conference calls, office meetings, examination of data on desktops. Discussions of coming for coffee, where we going, I'll be 5 minutes, where can I meet you. Coming for lunch, where are we going, oh what we have to wait they'll be 10 minutes more, I'll just do some more work, say how was coffee this morning....I couldn't find you where were you exactly.

Then there are the issues of lack of office storage within the open offices (no shelves, no filing cabinets, no where to hang reminder notes. Park benches have just as much to offer but with a better view.

You may think I am typing from an uniformed point of view, wrong. Maybe I'm jaded, perhaps from past experiences of dysfunctional open office spaces. Maybe the people who decided on how this building was to be designed should have done their job BETTER and considered what residents need to do their jobs effectively BEFORE they build this 'new' and 'innovative' building

I know how currently used similar open offices function. People unofficially move to wherever they can find a functional location in order to achieve work. So if the headphones/earmuffs don't work, you then just don't use the office, find a corner in a basement somewhere. Or work from home, thats what I intend to do.

Open offices are one thing, but lack of necessary infrastructure and impracticality are another. There is obviously a problem, else there would be no need to hold meetings to address anticipated office problems in an attempt to formulate a set of "office rules" to make them usable.

You think what I typed above is exaggerated come and visit the building in September 2013 and see what its like. Headphones or empty desks! Pathetic!!
Click for more ...
 

Award Entry

HASSELL & Richard Kirk design a 'live learning hub' for University of Queensland 

The Advanced Engineering Building (AEB) at the University of Queensland will be a state-of-the-art engineering education building with flexible teaching and learning spaces. The multi-purpose building will have the appropriate mix of learning, workplace and social areas. The building co-locates five key materials, science and engineering research centres and occupies a prime site overlooking the University lakes.

Hands-on learning is embraced through an engaging and collaborative education environment. Some spaces follow a ‘design studio’ model with well-considered learning tools that enhance the creative process. The Advanced Engineering Building integrates teaching and research laboratories in addition to large scale manufacturing and civil engineering research laboratories. It will support various hydraulic, wind, materials and structural and advanced form processing laboratories (among many others) within its program.

The building also acts as a ‘live learning hub’ for engineering students who will occupy the building upon completion. AEB facilitates new teaching and learning spaces that accommodate the new curriculum and pedagogies for engineering implemented by the University of Queensland. The building incorporates both passive and integrated sustainability initiatives with a targeted reduced energy consumption.

HASSELL and Richard Kirk Architect in joint venture won the limited design competition for the new Advanced Engineering Building which is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

Key Facts

Status Under construction
Value 0(m€)
HASSELL
www.hassellstudio.com

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