Green Chemical Futures another Lyons marvel

Mark BaljakMarch 30, 20150 min read

Another nod to the unique talents of Lyons Architecture opened its doors during the early stages of 2015. Monash University's Clayton campus is home to Green Chemical Futures, a multi-level complex dedicated toward academic and industrial research within the chemicals sector.

A culmination of a Federal Government initiative that began during 2000, Green Chemical Futures is the latest Lyons-designed building to challenge conventional design. With the main east-facing facade reminiscent of a molecular structure, Green Chemical Futures also caters for Monash University's School of Chemistry

Green Chemical Futures' lower levels contain teaching and learning spaces while the upper floors will house research and translational facilities. Still the exterior makes the building. In typical Lyons fashion a range of colours, shapes and finishes have been applied to create a world-class form, without needing to sacrifice function.

Green Chemical Futures another Lyons marvel
Green Chemical Futures

Features and capabilities

  • 9500 square metre multi-level, 5 star green rated building
  • Budget: $79.56 million - funded by the Federal Government
  • Location: North West Precinct at Monash University's Clayton Campus
  • In excess of 100 chemists and engineers will work within the complex
  • 17 specialist sectors, training programmes for industry practitioners and new laboratory spaces
  • New laboratory spaces available for over 1000 students and 100 industry partners

GCF will support the academic and industrial research within the chemicals sector in Australia and will provide world-class research to expand Australia's 'green workforce'.

Green Chemical Futures will house over 100 chemists and engineers and allow the growth of basic science research to targeted industry-driven research. It will have 17 specialist sectors, training programmes for industry practitioners and new laboratory spaces available for over 1000 students and 100 industry partners.

The lower levels of the building will contain teaching and learning spaces and the upper floors will house research and translational facilities, with double-height foyer and voids spaces linking the levels and collaboration spaces throughout.

Monash University

Capabilities include:

  • Green analytical/separation/polymer chemistry
  • Cleaner synthesis - organic, inorganic and organometallic
  • Catalysis and bio-catalysis
  • Green electro- and photo-chemistry
  • Bioconversion - New materials from biomass
  • Biomimetic devices
  • Nanomaterials
  • Professional education and training
Green Chemical Futures another Lyons marvel
GCF's interior stair case

In addition to the main works which were undertaken by Lend Lease, Australian Native Landscape Constructions is in the process of rolling out landscaping and civil works for the project. The area surrounding Green Chemical Futures was designed by Outlines Landscape Architects and includes multiple lawn areas, in excess of 7,000sqm of paving, decking and 5,500sqm of soft landscaping.

The Green Chemical Futures buildings follows in the footsteps of another Lyons design close by, namely New Horizons which was completed during 2013.

Next in line

Green Chemical Futures another Lyons marvel
Brimbank Community and Civic Centre. Image courtesy Lyons

Melbourne won't have to wait long for the next Lyons project to take shape with their scheme for City of Brimbank's new Community and Civic Centre in its infancy. Kane Constructions are in charge of the project which will see a new 12,000sqm complex replace the former Sunshine Library site at Hampshire Road, Sunshine.

With a new library, community spaces and municipal offices included within the development, the exterior will carry a typically a-typical Lyons finish with orange/yellow highlight drawing upon the City of Brimbank logo and a sawtooth design harking upon the site's former use. Lyons were appointed to the project following an invited design competition.


The staff at have had the opportunity to meet and peruse many an architectural office in recent times and often enough the office/work environment is reflective of the firm in question. Whether it's austere, brash or minimalist, a parallel can often enough be drawn.

I haven't seen the internal workings of Lyons' office but I could guess it to be similar to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I'm an unabashed fan of their work as it hits a point on the design 'spectrum' that no other firm does.

The firm's educational, research and civic projects simply don't conform to sensibility, and that's what makes Lyons Architecture one of a kind… let's see some more!

Enjoy the image set of Monash University's Green Chemical Futures building below.

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak was a co-founder of He passed away on Thursday 8th of November 2018 after a battle with cancer. He was 37. Mark was a keen traveller, having visited all six permanently-inhabited continents and had a love of craft beer. One of his biggest passions was observing the change that has occurred in Melbourne over the past two decades. In that time he built an enormous library of photos, all taken by him, which tracked the progress of construction on building sites from across metropolitan Melbourne.
Monash University
Lyons Architecture
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