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This winning competition entry is for an environment to study the future of sustainable cities and places of inhabitation. 

Within this building the next generation of architects, urban planners, ecologists, builders and landscape architects learn to work in a highly connected way. Our design in collaboration with Boston architecture firm NADAAA is driven by the idea that the building itself becomes built pedagogy and a broader studio environment. 

The architecture, inherent planning, spatial arrangements and configurations, particular programmatic adjacencies and relationships foster a rich, dynamic environment that becomes a point of stimulus, a catalyst for creativity and inventive design research. 

With its many inventive structural and environmental ideas, the building becomes a live learning tool for students and staff alike.

The idea of what architecture can give back to the community also works at the scale of the university. Connecting back into the network of buildings and courtyards, our design operates as an urban gesture reinforcing the workings and systems of the campus.

The transparent facades and open permeable ground plane reveals the creative and collaborative activities to the rest of the university community.

  • Traditional Custodians Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people
  • Collaborators Wardle and NADAAA in collaboration
  • Client Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne
  • Location Parkville, Victoria
  • Procurement International Design Competition
  • Project duration 2009 – 2014
  • Floor levels 6
  • Footprint 3,330m2
  • Floor area 15,772m2
  • Selected Awards
  • Daryl Jackson Award for Educational Architecture, AIA National Architecture Awards 2015
  • Marion Mahony Award for Interior Architecture, AIA Victorian Chapter 2015
  • Award for Educational Architecture, AIA Victorian Chapter 2015

Located in the centre of the historic core of the University’s Parkville campus, the Melbourne School of Design has been created as a building in the round in response to surrounding heritage buildings, landscapes, and key campus streetscapes.

Each elevation and its associated programmatic adjacencies respond to the specifics of their context through the creation of urban spaces that emphasise both occupation, interaction, and pedestrian movements, responding to historic bookends to the east and west of the site and the opening up of activities at the building perimeter. A transparent ground plane opens up the building to passers-by and encourages further engagement between the building and the broader campus community.




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