Mercy Building located on the Brisbane campus of the Australian Catholic University (ACU) is a striking new education facility that offers space for both staff and students within a collaborative learning environment.

Designed by leading architectural design practice ThomsonAdsett, the Mercy Building project presented a unique opportunity to create a community landmark showcasing the attributes of the Brisbane campus to the ACU community.

ThomsonAdsett collaborated with library expert Janine Schmidt to ensure that the spectacular design not only delivered on the client's functional and performance requirements, but also represented international best practice.

Built over five levels, the building features a series of shared learning spaces over two levels with a function space on the top floor. Students have access to a multitude of learning spaces where they can undertake study in a group or on their own. ThomsonAdsett took inspiration from advancements in teaching and learning, workplace needs and the unique qualities of the campus.

Prior to the building’s design, there were interactions with the staff, students and executives through stakeholder workshops and user group meetings, with the collaborative human-centred consultation process informing the design. The building engages with its surrounding context by sensitively connecting to existing buildings, and also by the heritage characteristics and the panoramas of the broader site.

In addition to functional objectives, the design also sought to meet or exceed ACU’s established benchmarks for improving energy and water efficiency by 7% by 2020. Early data reveals that these outcomes are being achieved. Even though a large part of the building faces west, the performance efficiency is enabled thanks to the exterior design of the building as well as the smart, sustainable integrated services.

Images by Alicia Taylor