Demolition has begun at Monash University’s Caufield Campus to make way for new works which will dramatically improve connections between the existing buildings and the adjacent public spaces. Our design incorporates an improved vertical transportation network, expanded all-gender amenities, and a better entry experience for Buildings B and C. The focus of these efforts is to provide better connections to the teaching spaces and improve the overall experience for students, staff and visitors.
Render created by the design team at NH Architecture
The additions have been conceived to act as a central circulation spine, creating connections between the collaborative teaching and learning spaces and the concourse, the arcade below and the adjacent Ian Potter Sculpture Court. A new glazed façade will allow daylight into the formerly dimly lit spaces inside as well as well as orienting users in the surrounding campus context.
The new works significantly update the buildings to meet current standards as well as making way for the rest of the interiors to be refitted in the future to further expand the teaching and learning capacity.
Wayfinding is enhanced at the entrances and within the new spaces. An illuminated, glazed entry to the ground floor will improve safety for students and brighten up the previously shadowy arcade space at ground level. New landscaping ties into the existing leafy courtyard.
The lift core will be clad in a ribbed precast panel with a pattern of coloured tiles which reference’s Michael Kitson’s Ceramic mural, commissioned in 1974 for the south elevation of the existing building.
The campus has a rich history of education and engagement with the visual arts. In fact, Building B houses a glass and metal workshop and kilns on the rooftop. “The lift’s materiality provides a conceptual link between Monash’s wonderful public sculptures on display across the campus and Building B’s rooftop workshops – between where art is made and where it’s displayed”, says Project Architect Matt Pirrie, “We’ve been told it’s only facility in the southern hemisphere to host a hot glass workshop and bronze casting foundry side by side, and certainly the only one perched up with the birds!”
The same references to the building’s heritage and materiality continue into the interior spaces where the rooftop workshops and the existing architecture inform the detailing and material selections. These spaces include informal study and social areas for students, a readily accessible central stair, and improved amenities. Students and staff will enjoy views out across the campus and surrounding suburb, clearly locating the department within the surrounding context.
NH Director Astrid Jenkin, who’s been leading the design team said: ‘‘We’re thrilled to continue our dialogue with Monash University after working closely with them on the feasibility study. Our design acknowledges the benefits of new technologies and construction alongside site specific and historical references tothe existing architecture, ensuring an enhanced and generous experience for all.”
We can’t wait to watch as this new addition to the campus at Monash University takes shape.