University of Melbourne adds another design showpiece to their Parkville campus

In recent times it has been a race of sorts between the University of Melbourne's Parkville campus and the Clayton domicile of Monash University to see which institution can deliver the most impressive new build facilities across their respective campuses.

Urban Melbourne last month highlighted Monash University's grand design gesture, the new Biomedical Learning and Teaching Building, which will begin construction shortly. Not to be left behind, University of Melbourne have also moved to create a new design showpiece, titled the Western Edge Biosciences (WEBS) building.

Kane Constructions have begun early works on WEBS which includes the demolition of the current Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences Building, and subsequent site works. Construction proper is expected to begin later this year, post-Kane Constructions' targeted October 2017 completion of the early works.

Western Edge Biosciences. Image: University of Melbourne

According to the builder, other firms involved in the delivery of WEBS at the tertiary provider's Parkville campus include Aurecon, Hassell, Donald Cant Watts Corke, Irwinconsult, Norman Disney & Young and McKenzie Group Consulting.

Along with design lead Hassell, Semaphore provided a wayfinding strategy for the project which will be the first stage in a larger master plan to be rolled out over the years to come.

Within the distinctly green facade, the intention is to create an environment designed to foster world-class outcomes for biosciences teaching, research, and training.

According to University of Melbourne, "It will improve research performance and learning experience in the biosciences, and help train the next generation of bioscientists, vets, and doctors. The program will also meet requirements for the global accreditation of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program in 2020, safeguarding the only accredited veterinary course in Victoria."

Adding to Melbourne design fabric. Images: UoM, Ben Kreunen & John Wardle Architects

WEBS joins a strong list of buildings that University of Melbourne have either developed directly or have had a hand in developing over recent years. Builds such as the Business and Economics building, Peter Doherty Institute, Bio 21 and the Melbourne School of Design are prime examples.

Most recently completed was the Arts West Redevelopment building designed by ARM Architecture and Architectus; it too was built by Kane Constructions to a value of $66 million.

WEBS will join two further projects University of Melbourne currently has in development. Builder Cockram is working on the latest addition to the Bio21 medical research precinct whilst the future home of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music on Southbank is cleared and awaiting construction commencement.

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