As the new heart of Flinders University’s Bedford Park campus, the Student Hub and Plaza has revitalised student life. Designed by Woods Bagot, the project created a new gateway to the university, providing a dynamic precinct for students, staff, and the wider community.
Delivering a contemporary tertiary education environment for Flinders University, Woods Bagot developed a series of spaces for active learning. Significantly improving visual connections and pedestrian permeability through the plaza, the architecture activates the central core of the campus by drawing students in.
The project provides over 11,000 square metres of facilities including a new four-storey administration building with a sustainable rooftop garden, a new three-storey enclosed mall and upgrades to one level of the library. A terraced amphitheatre sits at the centre of the reshaped plaza, designed to host outdoor concerts and film nights for up to 2,000 people.
The project eliminates previously segregated silos of the campus by opening up and activating the area while encouraging flow of movement between inside to outdoor zones. With views across Adelaide towards the coast, the project embraces a community-focused environment that sits sensitively within its context.
Architecturally, the spatial arrangement and built form represents a blend of rigid structure with a softened edge. New ‘student owned’ spaces have been injected into the existing building grids, resulting in an open, fluid and dynamic learning environment.
Providing a range of comfortable spaces for active learning, the Hub was conceived as an environment to support and stimulate students’ collaborative activities. The Hub’s learning spaces reflect the modern ways in which students learn, with banks of computers, flexible furniture and power-enabled consoles for students to plug in their own devices.
By reshaping the plaza, the traditional boundaries between academic staff and students have been blurred, integrating teaching, learning and staff zones to facilitate interaction and engagement. A variety of gathering, social, retail and contemporary learning spaces were designed to attract large numbers of students and staff to enjoy the campus facilities outside of class times.
The design of the interiors embodies a professional and innovative approach to learning by providing a range of interconnected learning environments. The sophisticated interiors palette is imbued with a strong sense of identity to demarcate focused work and breakout spaces.
Maintaining a focus on student interaction, engagement and services, a mix of technology-enabled student spaces provides choice and autonomy, encouraging collaboration and peer collegiality. The project reignites the campus culture at Flinders University, offering an engaging precinct aligned to current and future student needs.