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Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning, University of Melbourne

John Wardle Architects and NADAAA in Collaboration

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Project Description

A pairing of firms from Collingwood, Australia, (John Wardle Architects) and Boston (NADAAA) won the international competition for this 170,000-square-foot design education building. At the center of the structure is a multipurpose studio hall rising four stories to a coffered canopy that provides natural light and ventilation. A sculptural construction suspended in this space houses visiting critics’ studios. Students will not have assigned workspaces, but can instead choose to work in the central hall or along the metal-mesh-enclosed balconies that surround it, where a variety of tables, counters, and seating will be provided. A stone façade, retained from the building that formerly occupied the site, had already been recycled once, for that earlier structure, from a demolished bank. Exterior glazing is shaded by a variety of panels and fins in different configurations depending on solar exposure. Juror Lise Anne Couture noted the design intention to make the building “in and of itself a pedagogical tool.” —John Morris Dixon, FAIA
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