Designed by EJE Architecture, the $25m building will provide a range of flexible spaces capable of reacting to the changing needs of the users. Shared spaces will include educational seminar and conference spaces, informal networking event spaces, exhibitions and demonstration of innovations.

University of Newcastle vice-chancellor, professor Alex Zelinsky says the Honeysuckle City Campus Development will create a strong presence for the university in the Newcastle CBD, enhancing its positive civic, cultural and social impact in the region.

“The unveiling of the design for the first building on our Honeysuckle City Campus Development is a momentous step forward in our long-term vision to grow, develop knowledge and be a driver of an innovative regional economy,” says Zelinsky.

EJE Architecture director, Anthony Furniss, says the building was destined to become ‘a stage within the city’ – a showcase of creators and innovators.

“The design creates a clean, crisp space for creators and innovators to interrupt the city as they choose,” says Furniss.

“Much like a gallery – the building is pared back and sleek to reveal the activity inside – essentially it allows the University to ‘reveal itself to the community’.”

Furniss says the elegant 20m building would use transparent glass and landscaping to draw people in to discover vibrant activity inside.

“The building will feature a smart glass glazing system with the potential for digital display.”

The Innovation Hub space will facilitate co-working, meetings and collaboration, while the School of Creative Industries space will include state-of-the-art teaching and learning studios.

The building also reflects the University’s commitment to sustainable design and operations, with features such as a targeted 5 Green Star rating (Designed and As Built) from the Green Building Council of Australia.

As the first building in Newcastle to use an innovative cross-laminated timber frame, the idea is for it to result in minimal construction wastage, while its high thermal performance double glazed fa├žade system is made to maximise daylight while at the same time, minimising air conditioning loads.

Work will start by mid-2019, with construction expected to be completed late in 2020.

Image credit: EJE Architecture