In 2016, UTS awarded GWA a refurbishment project in Building 5 with the specific request for a result consistent with our previous work in Building 6, Peter Johnson for the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building (DAB).
With the Faculty of Business vacating Building CB05 it was proposed to utilise two of the vacant floors of Block C to accommodate other faculty growth. There was also the potential to utilise the remaining vacant floor for the new Trans-Disciplinary Faculty. The project involved complete refurbishment of Levels 2 and 3 for the school of Built Environment and a ‘warm-shell’ fitout for Level 4.
The main feature on Level 2 is a collaborative ‘Pod Classroom’ with an integrated AV/IT solution that supports an array of various teaching and learning modes.
The room with its 16 ‘top of the art’ AV pods can be set up to support anything from small learning groups of various group sizes (3 to 9) for up to 160 students, to a Case study/problem based learning approach. It also allows the room to be configured to suit a Traditional Seminar set up with large group tables or a ‘traditional’ didactic approach with serried rows. The integrated AV solution, developed specifically for this room, provides presentation capability for the entire room.
There are numerous break out areas surrounding the teaching room to support student led learning and quiet study. Colourful study pods of various shapes with graphics of different cities are used to encourage creativity. The entire floor is technology ‘rich’ that is easily accessed. Further, there is a Collaborative Action Research (CAR) lab located on this floor with a tailored AV solution, comprising of a large 100” interactive touch screen table.
Level 3 consists of academic offices, administration and open plan HDR student areas. The office fitout offers a welcoming, contemporary, flexible and innovative environment with open plan workstations, individual offices, meeting rooms and other ancillary spaces to support the intended use.
The workspaces are open, transparent and dynamic, encouraging approachability, interaction and collaboration. Plenty of internal glazing was used to provide a bright ‘daylight rich’ environment, complemented by the use of warm, natural timbers and ‘pops’ of colour, creating a welcoming office workspace.