All in the DNA

30 Oct 2011

Vibrant arrangement of blue and yellow boxes evoke health and discovery

Consistent with the influences of modern pedagogy, the design of this building reflects a didactic aesthetic. The environmentally responsive form, refined surface treatment in detailed metallic panels and confident use of colour allow this building to display an iconic vision for collaborative learning.

Sculpturally, the building responds to both master planning and
 environmental challenges. The modelling of the built form was influenced by the longest of the facades being orientated to the west. To maximise north and south glazing, a carved out form evolved revealing large set backs and external courtyard spaces.

These zones are both breakout places for social interaction and inviting entry points to an otherwise abstract façade. The predominantly unfenistrated west façade constantly changes in tone depending on the angle of the sun, further modelling the dramatic form of the building.

Low-level glazing to the perimeter provides transparency, allowing internal activities to be revealed and a sense of accessibility. In juxtaposition to the simplicity of the metallic panelling, a layer of dramatic sun shading has been applied. A vibrant arrangement of blue and yellow boxes randomised and arranged like a DNA diagram is a reference to health and discovery.

The colour and form of this sun shading motif was further inspired by the transport logistics required by the local fruit growing industry, dramatically connecting the building to the community. A simple palette of finishes, natural concrete set against stained plywood panelling and vermilion translucent Perspex provides balanced and dynamic aesthetics.

The detailing of feature screens, fabric selections, ceiling articulation, graphic glass panels, carpet patterning and lighting layouts have all been crafted in response to the building's architectural expression. The vermilion Perspex panels retrieved from the demolition of another University asset were adapted into the design to form stair ballustrading and glazed internal walls. This material inspired a departure from the external colour scheme and provides a brilliant red glow to the heart of the interior and is a practical response to Environmentally Sustainable Development.

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