Connected to two existing lecture theaters, this 250-seat lecture theatre at Melbourne’s Deakin University incorporates internal and external gathering spaces.
The design solution links seamlessly back to the existing buildings while, at the same time, providing a strong open connection back to the main pedestrian spine and the library hub area. It also emphasizes the important link between the internal teaching and learning spaces, and the external campus activity areas.
Formally, the building asserts its presence to the sunken courtyard in a sinuous and fluid manner. Concave in plan, the foyer is flanked by two sculptural stairs, one directed at the central spine by means of a sweeping curve and the other with a spiral steel staircase. Reinforcing the formal language of the foyer are louvres shading the glass from the western sun but allowing a visual connection to the courtyard and adjacent activity areas.
At ground level, visitors are greeted by another sculptural steel staircase, bringing to mind its relationship to the external spiral staircase by means of materiality and fluidity. The circulation on the ground floor includes a generous informal study area adjacent to the seminar rooms, and the space provides a place for students to work or meet up before formal teaching sessions.