The new building will consist of educational facilities for staff and students, with a total floor area of approximately 18,000m2. The budget for the new building will be approximately AU$90 million for construction and fitout, plus consultant fees; a major portion of this sum has been committed by the University with the balance of the funding currently being sought from Federal, State, and private sources. Construction is anticipated to commence in early 2011, with an anticipated completion date of 2013.
Site and Heritage
The current Parkville Campus Masterplan identifies the existing location of the Architecture and Old Commerce buildings as the site for the new building; development of this site will be undertaken in accordance with the Masterplan. These current buildings contain items of heritage significance including murals, stained glass windows, sculptures and statues. Notable among these, the former is home to the Japanese Room, a space fitted out by appreciative alumni from Japan using traditional Japanese finishes and fittings, and a Japanese Garden. The Old Commerce Building currently includes on its west façade historically significant elements from the former Bank of New South Wales building in Collins Street, Melbourne, by the architect Joseph Reed of Reed and Barnes. This façade was originally built in 1856 and was transplanted to the Parkville campus in 1936. These elements will need to be addressed in the design response in accordance with University heritage management plans and policies and in consultation with relevant heritage committees and consultants.
The project is seen as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity for the Faculty to achieve strategic objectives relating to the positioning of ABP and the MSD, with a commitment to innovation in relation to the design and delivery of an outstanding campus building. The aspiration of the faculty and the University is that the new building will demonstrate an outstanding level of quality in both the processes of design and development and in the finished product. The resulting design will provide an excellent working environment to encourage high quality research, teaching and learning.
The project will be used to demonstrate the best possible processes of design, collaboration, procurement and construction, with all parties working closely together with the University, the Faculty, and with staff and students who will use the building into the future. The project will also form the focus of a research program around issues relevant to the various professions and disciplines within the Faculty, with staff and students monitoring and recording the processes of design and construction.
The new building will demonstrate an outstanding level of quality in relation to all of the disciplines within the Faculty. It will be a building of international architectural merit, with highly integrated landscaping and urban design features that will make a significant contribution to the surrounding campus and community. It will demonstrate the best practices of engineering, fabrication, construction and servicing.
Research, Teaching and Learning
The new building will provide outstanding accommodation for research activities within the faculty, comprising individual and group projects between academic staff, visiting and professorial fellows, post-graduate students, and research assistants. It will provide outstanding facilities for formal interaction between staff and students, as well as for informal and peer-to-peer learning. In particular, the new building will strengthen studio teaching culture within the Melbourne School of Design, recognising the unique contribution of studio projects to student learning, which is dependent upon informal interaction, experimentation and discussion. Studio spaces must be creative, tolerant of mess, able to be decorated and personalised, and focussed on making students feel valued.
The Building will demonstrate an outstanding level of environmental performance, expected to be a 6-star Greenstar rating (or equivalent) using Green Building Council of Australia rating system. The building will enable teaching and learning opportunities, with students being able to actively monitor and adjust the environmental features of the building in order to appreciate their impacts on the indoor environment as well as research opportunities for the broader Faculty agenda.
Preliminary Functional Brief
The project will provide a series of innovative spaces for research, teaching, and learning, as well as informal spaces for staff and students to interact, relax, or study in between formal classes. These are anticipated to include:
Research Space (2,500m2)
The building will include research work space for academic staff, research staff, and research higher degree students. The purpose of this space is to provide a secure working environment, separated from the general teaching facilities, allowing a combination of quiet, solitary research work as well as collaborative group or team projects. This is likely to consist of traditional individual offices with storage for books as well as more open, interactive workspaces, with the flexibility to switch between the two as needs evolve. There is a need to accommodate approximately 100 full-time academic staff; 200 part-time, and honorary staff, research assistants and tutors; and 100 research higher degree students.
Administrative Space (1,500m2)
The building will provide workspace for approximately 50 operational and support staff, and associated facilities such as file storage, meeting rooms, and Faculty reception. This would also include an executive area for the offices of the Dean, Deputy Dean, and Faculty General Manager, as well as dedicated administrative staff and meeting rooms.
Design Studio Spaces (1,000m2)
Design studio teaching is central to the Faculty, and design spaces will need to provide an outstanding environment for interaction between staff and students as well as for peer-to-peer learning. These spaces are used for producing and discussing design proposals in digital, paper, or physical model format, either individually or in groups. Studio spaces will provide a level of containment and acoustic privacy for approximately 20 groups of 16-20 students per group, as well as storage to allow student work to be kept secure between classes.
Teaching Spaces (1,000m2)
As well as design studio spaces, the Faculty requires a range of other teaching spaces for tutorials and seminars, including spaces highly engaged with digital media and immersive projection. These will provide acoustic and visual privacy for small class groups of 15-25 students, and will be equipped with whiteboards and digital projection facilities. Spaces and furniture should be flexible so that these spaces can be used for the display of student design work at the end of each semester.
Lecture Theatres (1,000m2)
The building will include lecture theatres as follows:
|One large theatre, seating 400+ people, possibly divisible into two smaller theatres;|
|Two medium theatres, each seating 120-150 people, and|
|Two small theatres, each seating 50-60 people.|
This will also include foyer / breakout spaces large enough for the same number of students to gather and wait for the next lecture, which could have a dual function as an exhibition or casual seating space.
Faculty Library (1,500m2)
The Faculty enjoys the benefits of a dedicated library, which will form one of the major focal points of the new building. The library has the leading collection in the region of texts related to our fields of architecture, building and planning, including a substantial collection of unique and valuable items. The new library will provide a range of spaces for individual and group study, enabling access to physical and electronic resources, as well as facilities for photocopying and printing, storage and display of books, models, drawings and digital collections.
Digital Teaching Spaces (500m2)
Students currently have access to high-end modelling software for design and analysis of large scale or complex projects in dedicated computer labs. The new building will provided spaces for instruction in and production of digital designs, either separately or integrated with other teaching (studio) spaces. Digital equipment would include desktop computers, large monitors, and facilities for printing and projection, as well as access to rapid prototyping (see workshops below).
Exhibition Space (300m2)
The new building will provide various opportunities for display of current and historical student work as well as for touring or external exhibitions and for other faculty events. Display facilities should accommodate drawings, smalland large-scale models, digital projection and immersion spaces, and outdoor exhibitions. Any dedicated exhibition space will need to be serviced by a commercial-type kitchen for use at functions, and be near to public amenities within the building.
The faculty currently has a dedicated workshop containing tools and equipment suitable for producing small- to medium-scale timber and metal work, e.g. models, furniture or construction prototypes. The workshops and workshop staff provide suitable facilities, safeguards and supervision for students to work on these projects. The faculty also has a digital fabrication lab, containing rapid prototyping machines as well as some facilities for foam and plywood modeling. The workshops need ground level access for easy visibility as well as for delivery, storage and display.
Café and Lounge (300m2)
Located at the eastern edge of the Union Lawn, a significant open space on the Parkville Campus, the Faculty has an opportunity to create a lively and active ground plane that will provide entry to the spaces above as well as being inviting for the entire campus community. The ground level should have café and informal lounge areas for both staff and students to eat and drink, socialise, study alone or in groups, or just relax between classes. These areas should integrate with the circulation and display spaces of the new building so that the activities and efforts of staff and students are on display to visitors.
Research, Teaching and Learning
The areas above, combined with circulation, storage and amenities (lifts, toilets, etc) as well as informal study spaces scattered throughout the building, will equate to the 18,000m2 total indicated above.