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Sculptural law school building receives a positive verdict

“A beautifully sculptural piece of architecture. Aptly composed forms stacking and rolling on top of one another. The fluted precast concrete contrasts well with the zinc-cladding boxes. The building looked effortlessly put together,” Ann Lau, Judge.

Project: Deakin Law School Building

Award: Education - Higher education and research facilities, Gold, 2022

Location: Burwood, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Architect: Woods Bagot

Client: Deakin University

Deakin Law School in Melbourne, Australia includes a coiled, zinc-clad university building alongside a fluted concrete tower to deliver five levels of learning and teaching space. This sculptural new facility features lecture halls and an amphitheatre as well as opportunities for informal learning – from technology bars to group pods and individual spaces for private study. 
Two levels are dedicated entirely to student support and health and wellbeing services, with spaces allocated for student retreat and contemplation on campus. The adjacent Wellness Garden features native plants, stones, a deconstructed creek and tiered seating. While the winter garden on level five provides a space high above the trees, with a vertical plant wall and floor-to-ceiling glass louvres.
Sitting on the edge of campus, the law school site was previously disconnected from much of the rest of the university due to the waterway that divides the campus in two. The new building’s glinting and fluid form provides a striking landmark that ushers students across the link bridge, creating a much more accessible and connected campus. 

Design highlights

The curved, zinc geometric form of the main building is sliced through with floor to ceiling glazing along one side in order to maximise views of the lush landscape that surrounds the campus, as well as to showcase the learning facilities within. Inside, an abundance of timber and white plasterboard create a simple and seamless finish which effectively frames views of the scenic setting.

  • Deakin Law School Building
  • Deakin Law School Building
  • Deakin Law School Building
  • Deakin Law School Building
  • Deakin Law School Building
  • Deakin Law School Building

Photo credit: Peter Bennetts

  • CONTRACTOR: Watpac
  • PROJECT MANAGER: Donald Cant Watts Corke

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