Project: Monash International Bachelor of Business City Campus | Melbourne Australia
Firm: Jackson Clements Burrows | Melbourne Australia
The new premises of Monash University International Bachelor of Business mandated innovative space-planning and a visionary design solution that explores and challenges the preconception of traditional tertiary teaching spaces. The brief called for a diverse facility that allows teaching and learning to occur in an innovative and flexible way and support “student centred” pedagogy. A key objective was that the design facilitates the basis for a collegiate community, underpinning the creation of a strong student cohort. The site, a 3200 square metre single floor plate spanning a city block, had evolved over decades by the ad-hoc connection of five separate buildings. The floor plate was disjointed and presented several challenges relating to structure, services, natural light and wayfinding. We set out to create an ‘internal urban campus’ through planning that embraced the following key principles: connection, experience, diversity, journey, and engagement. Choice cross-campus connections are forged through the creation of a primary pathway linking the entire floorplate. This pathway is punctuated by a variety of convivial communal and individual break out spaces, providing opportunity to study or socialise between classes, promoting a ‘sticky’ campus. Teaching, library and administrative spaces are inserted around the pathway. These spaces have a sinuous form, counteracting the irregular angularity of the base building, allowing free-flowing, intuitive circulation and ‘cross-campus’ sightlines. Classrooms are deliberately dispersed to encourage travel and spontaneous interaction. The result is a unique urban ‘campus’ that provides a balance of sophistication and fun in a flexible environment, complementing Monash’s vision and philosophies for the International Bachelor of Business.
Our design and planning solution for the Monash International Bachelor of Business Campus created organic, sinuous forms that wrapped and counteracted harsh, irregular and immutable base building elements. We searched for a flooring product that could work harmoniously with both the planning and the design requirement for diverse spaces, each possessing a unique identity across a wide spectrum, from subtle sophistication to stimulating and vibrant. The interlocking and non-linear nature of the Hexagon range was ideal, for a number of reasons: We controlled the flow and pattern of the carpet and colour in any direction, this was particularly important in reinforcing the circulation and connectivity of the meandering primary pathway. Playing with pattern and colour allowed us to blur the thresholds between spaces, which reinforced their flexible and free flowing nature. We designed the carpet layout so colour ‘flowed’ across room thresholds and into the primary pathway; this identified rooms from a distance and assisted in intuitive wayfinding. Each learning space was prescribed a distinct colour, as part of the desire for theses spaces to feel different. The choice of different tones of the same colour, allowed us to colour-block rooms and creates intensity at the centre of the room that dissipated towards the rooms’ perimeter. The hexagon carpet tile significantly contributed to this project’s success outcome by supporting a strong design concept through the products innovative form and unparalleled flexibility.