Three Australian universities with the most future-focused building designs

Three Australian universities with the most future-focused building designs
Three Australian universities with the most future-focused building designs

Universities across Australia are seeing a rapid increase in student enrolments, with 754,656 International student enrollments documented since 2018. Such abundant growth has universities considering expanding and further developing their campus to accommodate demand. 

Urban.com.au has compiled a list of the top three Australian universities with the most future-focused building designs. 

$564m Victorian Heart Hospital at Monash University 

Monash University has proposed to build a $564 million Victorian Heart Hospital on their Clayton campus adjacent to the Australian Synchrotron.

Three Australian universities with the most future-focused building designs
Victorian Heart Hospital by Conrad Gargett and John Wardle Architects in a joint venture. Credit: ArchitectureAU

The hospital will be the first Australian specialist cardiac hospital providing holistic, patient-centred care, as well as research and education. The new Victorian Heart Hospital will also incorporate clinical cardiology services and research facilities to raise the profile of cardiovascular discovery, treatment and training.

Designed by Conrad Gargett and John Wardle Architects, the proposed development aims to reduce its carbon footprint, with the building being constructed using 90% of locally sourced materials. 

Inspired by the tree-lined university, the architectural design of the new building emphasizes the surrounding external native landscape of the campus, through light-filled interiors, internal gardens and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. 

 

Three Australian universities with the most future-focused building designs
Photo 2: Victorian Heart Hospital by Conrad Gargett and John Wardle Architects in a joint venture. Credit: ArchitectureAU 

The design will also integrate principles of biophilic design in an effort to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of patients. 

Once completed, the hospital will have the capacity to provide 2,150 cardiac surgeries per year, 108,000 consultations and outpatient appointments; and 13,500 cardiac laboratory procedures. The development will also include:

  • 206 beds
  • An emergency department
  • Cardiac catheterization labs
  • Specialist surgical and imaging facilities
  • Telemedicine services for Victorian, interstate and international patients
Three Australian universities with the most future-focused building designs
Photo 3: Victorian Heart Hospital by Conrad Gargett and John Wardle Architects in a joint venture. Credit: ArchitectureAU  

Excavation of the site began in 2019, with the hospital scheduled for completion in 2022

First large-scale timber building at Murdoch University 

Murdoch University in Perth has proposed to build the first large-scale timber building in Western Australia. 

Designed by Lyons Architecture in collaboration with Officer Woods, The Fulcrum Agency, Silver Thomas Hanley and Aspect Studios, the $105 million academia building will be constructed using locally sourced timber. 

The proposed building design follows a creative warehouse model which includes partitions for a flexible internal form, and, "will serve as an important entrance statement and further activate this key arrival point to the university campus", according to the planning report advertised by Melville Council. 

Three Australian universities with the most future-focused building designs
Subject Building - Murdoch University. Credit: Melville City

The existing modernist architecture designed by Gus Ferguson consists of five campus buildings which will be demolished to free up the site for new development. 

The proposed design aims to develop a building identity that enhances the campus's low rise and landscaped environment. 

The four-story building will provide 15,000 square metres of learning space, informal study areas and academic workspaces to facilitate the university's anticipated increase student load. 

Three Australian universities with the most future-focused building designs
Lyons. Credit: Lyons Architecture

The building will also house the university's School of Business and Governance, as well as accommodate the latest contemporary teaching and learning spaces that are equivalent to the industry-leading standards and student expectations. 

Murdoch University also announced a design competition for its new environmental education centre in early January 2020. 

Three Australian universities with the most future-focused building designs
Promenade & Banksia Court. Credit: Melville City

In early January 2020, Murdoch University announced that they were seeking expressions of interest for a design competition which would see a new environmental education centre take shape at its campus in Perth's south.

The centre will be built in memory of Harry Butler, the Australian environmental consultant and lecturer of biology and natural science, and will also receive $25 million in federal funding. 

Three Australian universities with the most future-focused building designs
Harry Butler with five million-year-old mammal fossils in the cliff face on Barrow Island. Credit: The West Australian

To be known as 'The Harry Butler Environmental Education Centre', Murdoch University proposes the building will unite design excellence, sustainability and innovative technological outcomes, as well as the 50,000-year historical, social and cultural importance of the area.

“We support high-quality research in the co-existence of business (human endeavour) and biodiversity and are shaping the next generation of leaders in conservation and environmental management. Our research programs ensure the continuation of Harry Butler’s outstanding environmental outcomes, based on excellence in both scientific research and industry practice.” 

Murdoch University

Entries into the competition are open to multidisciplinary teams that are led by an Australian architect. However, they must contain at least one architect registered in Western Australia.

The expressions of interest for the design competition can be lodged here

The winning design will be announced by mid-2020. 

Three Australian universities with the most future-focused building designs
Indicative scheme for the Harry Butler Environmental Education Centre at Murdoch University. Credit: Murdoch University 

You can also read about more university developments in Melbourne, Epping and Sydney and many others on the Urban News.

Shantelle-Ann Marquis

Shantelle-Ann Marquis

Shantelle-Ann is a journalist at Urban.com.au, with experience in urban planning reporting, and an interest in architecture, development and real estate.

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Architecture

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