Completed in February 2011 in time for the commencement of the Australian academic year, this 1050 m² 250 seat lecture theatre is located within the central precinct of Deakin University's Melbourne Campus in the suburb of Burwood.
The design team identified a lack of gathering space in which to socialise, both internally and externally, and this drove Woods Bagot's value proposition and the formal agenda for the building design. The new lecture theatre is connected to two existing lecture theatres in Building I and the design solution links seamlessly back to the exisiting building while, at the same time, providing a strong open connection back to the main pedestrian spine and the library hub area. It also emphasises the important link between the internal teaching and learning spaces and connects back to the external campus activity areas.
Formally the building asserts its presence to the sunken courtyard in a sinuous and fluid manner. Concave in plan, the foyer is flanked by two sculptural stairs, one directed at the central spine by means of a sweeping curve and the other with a spiral steel staircase. Reinforcing the formal language of the foyer are louvres shading the glass from the western sun but allowing a visual connection to the courtyard and adjacent activity areas.
At ground level visitors are greeted by another sculptural steel staircase, bringing to mind its relationship to the external spiral staircase by means of materiality and fluidity. The seminar rooms cater to the distracted student, who can visually wander past the 'haha' style landscaping and absorb the activity down the campus spine.
The circulation on the ground floor includes a generous informal study area adjacent to the seminar rooms, and the space provides a place for students to work or 'meet up' before formal teaching sessions.
The detailing and resolution of this building is more akin to residential architecture typology than that of institutional architecture.
WAF AwardsCompleted Buildings, Learning - Shortlist
Australian Institute of ArchitectsPublic Archtecture Award - Alterations & Additions