Designed by architecture firm Woods Bagot, the new Burwood Highway Frontage building expands on the research and academic facilities for Melbourne’s Deakin University Faculty of Health. The new expansion features an eight-storey tower raised on pillars and covered in gold louvres.
The building is made of two interlocking shapes that form an ‘L’ configuration: a four levels Wing covered in silver louvers that faces the highway, and the Tower that overlooks the rest of the campus. Together they contain and define a north-facing landscaped courtyard providing access to northern light in winter, while the south-facing facade blocks the summer sun and noise of the highway to the south.
The design of the new building is based on the concept of a vertical campus with an activated ground level, providing a new social hub for the university community, including outdoor space for informal learning.
The Wing defines the urban edge between the University and Burwood Highway, with silver vertical louvered screens that protect and define the north, east, and west facades. The varying louvres profiles create angular patterns and appear to change when viewed at different angles, creating a sense of depth.
The Tower is the landmark of the university with panoramic views of the rest of Burwood Campus, Gardiner’s Creek and towards the city. The facades are clad similar to the wing, but in contrasting gold colour.
The interior spaces were designed to be more in-tune with today’s workplace environments than traditional academic centres. The public and teaching facilities were all placed on the lower levels, while the offices and research spaces are located between levels 3-8.
At ground level, there is retail space that comprises a bookstore, general tenancy areas, visitor information centre, campus cafe, informal working and breakout spaces. Level 1 contains medium, large and extra-large meeting and training spaces, as well as an airline club-style lounge area for a variety of uses.
Levels 2, 3 and 4 contain spaces for the Faculty of Health, including the School of Psychology, School of Health and Social Development, and the Centre for Population Health. Level 6 is the office for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Chief Financial Officer’s staff, Level 7 is the office of the Vice-President (Advancement) and staff of the Advancement Portfolio, and Level 8 is the workplace of the Advancement (Donor Relations) staff and the Vice-Chancellor’s Office.
The landscape acts as a new social gathering space, drawing its inspiration from nearby Gardiner’s Creek, and landscape elements such as cascades, the teasing outcrops of rock above the water line and canopy of trees found in differing locations along the creek line.
The design provides a highly energy efficient building with easy occupant control over local environment. This includes under floor air distribution, active mass cooling, low energy usage, high water efficiency, solar hot water, solar shading, high levels of daylight penetration, rain water harvesting and cyclist facilities. The building was designed to meet a 5 Star Green Star Rating.
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Address: Burwood, Melbourne
Area: 17 000 m²
Approx value: $125M
Completion Date: 2014
Client: Deakin University
Landscape Architects: Rush Wright Associates
Service Engineers: Umow Lai Pty Ltd
Structural & Civil Engineers: John Mullen & Partners
Building Surveyor: PLP Consultants
Quantity Surveyor: Wilde & Woollard
Photography: Peter Bennetts