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UNSW Mathews L1 CATS Refurbishment

  • Sector
    Education
  • Client
    University of New South Wales
  • Date Completed
    February 2017
  • Budget
    $2.75 million

GWA were engaged by UNSW in 2016 to refresh and rejuvenate an existing  Centrally Allocated Teaching Space (CATS) area in the modernist Mathews Building.

The project space connects the Mathews Tower and UNSW Fare food court, at lower ground level. As such, not only does it consist of classrooms but it performs as a break out and study area extensively used by students. It is also a thoroughfare between the two buildings and is heavily used by university personnel.

Eight UNSW CATS rooms were upgraded to modern teaching provisions, with five ‘high tech’ classrooms with student ‘pod’ arrangements. Each pod was allocated a fully connected display station for remote teaching and video conferences.

Three classrooms were designated ‘low tech’, providing a traditional approach to teaching but with provision for future upgrading and connectivity.

Originally the communal areas were ill-lit and dated, furniture was inconsistent and irregularly placed, creating awkward and inefficiently used student zones.

We stripped out all original finishes and fittings, raised the ceiling to the slab soffit to maximise the daylight within the space.

Both ‘active’ and ‘quiet’ zones were created with custom made joinery and provided connectivity throughout.

Selected finishes were contemporary and sophisticated in tone – timber, bronze, chocolate greys and rich browns. Highlights were introduced through crisp coloured wall panels, to lead the eye through the corridors into the student led space.