The building and its external environment is conceived as a singular proposition with teaching and learning not restricted to the confines of the built form according to traditional models of educational buildings. Instead, internal and external spaces have been carefully choreographed and orchestrated to provide a physical and visual flow between them, breaking down the real and perceived divide of “inside and outside”.
PLACE Laboratory’s intent was to build upon the University’s desire for places and spaces within the campus that are people focused, welcoming and vibrant learning and workplaces for students, teachers and staff. The concept of designing space as a “creative catalyst” where an inspiring environment within a garden like setting can facilitate social interaction, heightened sensory engagement, collaboration and the opportunity for new ideas and innovation to emerge.
A range of activities have been accommodated in the courtyard including learning pods with charging stations and free wifi access, sheltered gathering spaces for students and staff to hangout and meet friends, space for food van access. The design of the outdoor environment is a dynamic and inspirational place for people to gather and use, placing human experience at the forefront and combines it with high quality crafted landscape interventions that effortlessly flow and connect different functional areas of the building.
The outdoor learning spaces can be utilised by the Medical School to compliment classroom teaching, activities and lessons in a range of flexible formats afforded by the three seating areas. A covered space with paving a fixed seating to the edges allows movable tables and chairs to be arranged for class group work. The terrace seating in the centre of the courtyard provides the platform for outdoor lectures, while the grassed area with fixed seating to the edges provides a more relaxed informal space for socialising, lounging and relaxation with friends or by one’s self.
Photography: Dion Robeson