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Designed by Melbourne architectural firm John Wardle Architects (JWA) and Boston firm NADAAA, the designs will be the focus of a month-long exhibition to start on the 27th of February.
The new building will be unique in that it will give students the opportunity to work in a wide variety of work places and types of spaces. Unlike campus buildings that are usually closed to external view, the design allows everyone to see the activities and vibrancy inherent in a studio environment, a fundamental aspect of our teaching.
Professor Tom Kvan, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, said the plans were at the cutting edge of educational design, and would dramatically change research and teaching across the faculty.
“The Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning is Australia’s leading educational centre in the built environment. The architects have worked hard with many people to craft the design of this building. Through extensive consultation, we articulated a need for a pedagogical and living building that celebrates design, one that is not just a manifestation of our collective work, but something that we can look to for examples of good design that will grow with the faculty,” he said.
“This exhibition documents the way in which the design has been engaged as a teaching and research activity to develop a building that will not only inspire its occupants but enrich the intellectual life of the campus, a facility fit for one of the world’s leading universities”, he said.
John Wardle, Principal Architect at JWA, said the firm has been inspired by the theme set out by the Faculty from the start. “Far from creating a singular building, our endeavour has been to provide a place for learning and research that in itself illustrates an abundance of possibilities for students to consider when responding to demands of complex problems.”
“At its heart the building is planned around a massive open chamber, and this hall is both highly specific in its intention to inspire collaborative activity and broad flexibility, predicting new modes of learning that must be accommodated in response to a constantly changing curriculum. In doing so the building itself supports the pedagogical experience.”
Nader Tehrani from NADAAA said the building designs provided an opportunity to respond to changes in design education, “while acknowledging a level of flexibility that anticipates further transformations in pedagogy. As a school steeped in research, collaboration, and inter-disciplinary dialogue, we hope to create an architectural platform for such interaction.”
Scheduled for completion in 2015, the new building exhibition will take place from February 27 to March 17 in the Wunderlich Gallery in the current Faculty of Architecture Building. More information is available at http://www.msd.unimelb.edu.au/events/newbuilding/.