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    Affordable and functional: New Griffith University Business School by Wilson Architects

    Nathan Johnson

    The new $38 million Griffith University Business School by Wilson Architects combines simple and functional materials in a bid to create an engaging learning space for students.

    “The building has to function in different ways at different times,” says Wilson Architects associate Brent Hardcastle.

    “The building in its materiality is trying to reflect a lot of functional ideologies [by] knitting them together into a unique building that looks quite striking.”

    In their basic form, the building’s materials aren’t exactly ground-breaking, but Wilson Architects director John Thong says these choices facilitated the affordability of the project and allowed them to focus their design attention on small-scale detail.

    “When you look at the materials themselves, the bulk of the construct is simply aluminium, glass and rendered masonry, which makes the building an economically sound outcome as well as very well detailed, functional structure,” said Thong.

    Similarly, Hardcastle explained that his team’s design effort focussed on the integration of functional building elements.

    “We as a team have put a lot of effort into how we can get those materials to work together, how we can junction things and detail it to a high level, to give that level of polish and high degree of resolution in the detail,” he said.

    The new Griffith Business School has technologically-rich seminar and public lecture spaces arranged throughout the building in numerous configurations.  Its new public function and conference room that can cater for up to 150 people and the School’s 4,500 business students will have access to world leading resources including an advanced financial trading centre environment.

    The Griffith Business School houses several business studies, accounting and marketing faculties as well as the School of Government and International Relations and therefore had to facilitate a variety of disciplines and publics.

    Wilson Architects emphasised the building’s multiple entry points as a key design feature that helped facilitate a space for several publics to integrate and engage.

    “There are three or four different ways you can enter the building from the street as a formal address as a student from the upper level or from a cafĂ© on the lower level,” said Hardcastle.

    Thong explains that this formal address now opens the new school and university up to the public and in particular the wider business community.

    “Ideas will be exchanged, new collaborations established and a place created that fosters a sense of collegiate and industry partnership within the wider professional business community,” said Thong.

    This year Wilson Architects celebrated 130 years as a continuing architecture practice.

    Images: Wilson Architects.

     

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