Building Three project at Edith Cowan’s Mt Lawley campus is the redevelopment of a series of disused courtyard and a series of subterranean blockwork tunnels into a welcoming and vibrant information centre for students and an open-plan workspace for the student services staff otherwise known as Student Central.
The Student services team were previously working in closed cellular spaces. Careful consideration was given in the design process to ensure new applications of workplace design and planning are not too confrontational for staff. The client’s brief required easy interaction between staff and students combined with a degree of security and privacy when dealing with monetary or personal issues.
The design is based on the notion that the Student Central building perform as a hub for all student processes, where all manner of activities radiate from the main meeting room. A strong base palette of natural materials with graphics, originally developed by the University, was utilised to great effect on large scale wallpapers. This delivers a vibrant note to the interior and allows inexpensive future updates.
The courtyard has been transformed with both hard and soft landscaping and is used as a wireless hub for students, as well as an essential thoroughfare linking previously disparate areas of the University. Off-form concrete seating elements give the space shape and dynamic, and contrasts beautifully with the original split face concrete brick walls of the courtyard buildings. Colours and materials are chosen carefully to blend with the 1950’s original elements.
The overall design maximises interaction and communication and is presented in a fun and welcoming manner, attracting students to the new courtyard area.