Located on the award-winning University Park campus, the 6,200sqm Teaching and Learning Building was designed to create a flexible space that deliberately blurs the boundaries between study, socialising and work.
Capable of accommodating up to 2,500 students at any one time, the building includes a broad range of teaching and learning environments from a double height learning hub with a mezzanine for quieter, informal learning and peer mentoring, as well as drop-in desks, shared tables and private study rooms.
It also features reconfigurable teaching rooms, a lecture hall with raked seating and small group discussion rooms.
The building has a performing arts space and social learning and breakout areas with views out across the campus.
David Patterson, lead architect, said: “We designed the Teaching and Learning Building in collaboration with a number of stakeholders including academics and students to ensure it would meet the needs of the users.
“It has a flexible framework with column-free floorplates that can be reconfigured by adding or removing internal partitions; generous breakout areas with multiple functions; and movable furniture that lets students and teachers define their own interactive spaces.”
At the heart of the campus and bounded by mature trees, a 20th-century villa and an award-winning 1970s library, the building provides a focal point for the campus.
Internally, a central light-filled atrium space provides a space for socialising, learning and meeting.
The more informal learning and social spaces are located around the perimeter of the building, and are designed to promote wellbeing by offering views of the campus landscape and mature trees.
The building takes advantage of the site’s drop in topography to create a double-height Learning Hub and introduce a mezzanine where students can work and socialise.
A major cantilever shelters the external space below, which is embedded into the landscape.
The atrium connects the spaces and provides a central focal point, as well as naturally ventilating the building and drawing in high levels of daylight.
Other sustainable measures include a highly thermally efficient envelope with deep-set reveals and high thermal mass to balance heat loss and solar gain.
Materials have been chosen for their longevity and simplicity. Externally the building’s upper level has been clad in an architectural terracotta with a robust base/plinth of architectural masonry.
To blur the distinction between the inside and outside, these materials have been continued within the building and are complemented by a steel frame.
Concrete has been left exposed to give a simple distinctive appearance, with exposed cross-laminated timber adding a tactile warmth.
The World Architecture News Awards showcase the best international design in both current and future projects. Entry to 2019 WAN Awards is now open - for further information please click here.
To see the full list of winners of the WAN Awards 2018, click here