Gray Puksand completes new hub for law students in Melbourne's business district
The Monash Law Chambers is a dedicated post-graduate teaching facility within the Melbourne law precinct. The brief called for flexible teaching and learning spaces, staff and academic accommodation, a variety of student study areas, a student lounge for research and collaboration, a resource centre with computer facilities, library node, meeting rooms and an auditorium on the ground floor for teaching, conferences and presentations.
The interior environments are configured to support contemporary learning. This means providing a variety of spaces in which this learning can occur, either explicitly via a formal lecture process or implicitly via shared spaces.
The focus of the mix of spaces is to encourage collaboration, which also leads to innovation. The Law Chambers includes an auditorium facility with a broad programme of internal and external users, which helps establish the Chambers as a cultural hub within the precinct, providing students with a richer understanding of the broader profession.
A high level of amenity is provided, cognisant that in an ICT-rich world where learning can occur in any setting, that those physical environments which are created for students to congregate, need also to attract students in the first instance and encourage them to learn in the second.
Through design interventions such as creating the interconnecting stair, removing ceilings and establishing a variety of spaces with different characters, a varied creative interior has evolved which conceals the conventional commercial origins of the building.
The project improves the urban realm by creating a valuable public interface at ground floor level in what was a dank, windswept undercroft and enriches the city by creating a new education and cultural use within the existing environmental matrix of the Melbourne CBD.