University of Western Australia, new Business SchoolEdit profile
The new University of Western Australia Business School is a world class example of best practice in tertiary educational facility design. It is a fusion of the University’s specific requirements and the latest education pedagogy and workplace design concepts. Woods Bagot has undertaken a rigorous consultative approach throughout the design process which has resulted in opportunities for innovation and added value. With the trend in tertiary education for a dramatic shift in the pedagogical framework for learning, the University of Western Australia required a high level of flexibility in the new building which features: – Flexibility in the configuration of spaces and the patterns of their arrangement and use – Group spaces facilitating collaborative problem solving project based work – Breakout spaces adjacent to more formal learning areas where the process can be extended in a less formal and social mode – Wireless networks to facilitate database access as and when required – Data projection capabilities to all walls to optimise the flexibility in use of a space and ease of transformation of the space – Food and drink to enable seamless process to learning and extended hours of activity – Help desks to enable ready access to support – Laboratories which take on more of the characteristics of studio environments – Study carrels and syndicate rooms which complete the range from extraverted/social work to introverted/private study and reflection – Service Centres (printing, scanning, photocopying etc.) Rigorous education specific space auditing combined with the consultative process resulted in a 10% saving in space from the original brief. These savings were reinvested in a number of ways, such as: – the creation of a new collaborative and collegiate workplace model for academics, – new learning environments such as collaborative social spaces and breakout spaces and – chilled beam climate control The building is also orientated so as to optimise natural heating and cooling throughout the year and the form of the building allows for the maximum penetration of natural light. This is combined with an intelligent daylight compensation lighting system. The UWA Business School site is located at the southern end of the campus, the opposite end to the sandstone Winthrop buildings which define the campus identity. This provides the opportunity to announce a new era in the history of the University and a 21st century model for campus architecture. The architectural expression is derived from images associated with the history of the state’s economy. It is, after all, a business school and the business and economics of Western Australia are primarily founded on agriculture and the resource industry. These primary industries have changed the landscape in the hinterland of Western Australia, and the images of that landscape form the architectural theming for the building. Aerial photographs of the Goldfields, Wheatbelt, Pilbara, Kimberley and Southwest Saltlakes provided the imagery that the building textures were derived from. The most important architectural expressions are located around the key learning environments or knowledge cores - the reason for the building’s existence such as the lecture theatres and case study rooms.