Flinders University have marked their 50th anniversary with the opening of their new $63m Student Hub and Plaza designed by Woods Bagot.

The new additions to the Bedford Park campus will include over 11,000sqm of new facilities, as well as a new terraced plaza space that features a terraced amphitheatre which can host up to 2,000 people.

The new hub and plaza, designed as the new front door to the campus, has been envisioned as a series of “student-owned” spaces that are focused on student interaction, engagement, and connections.

The scope of the project includes a new four storey administration building with a sustainable rooftop garden, a new three storey enclosed mall, and the refurbishment of the existing Union building and one level of the library.

New quiet study spaces, collaborative group lounges and conference facilities are also part of the redevelopment, as is the addition of new bars, food and beverage outlets, a function centre and retail.

“By creating a varying terrain of spaces from large to small, noisy to quiet, public to private, and collaborative to individual, the community of learners concept has the capacity to instil a strong campus-based learning experience,” explains Sarah Ball, Principal and Regional Education Leader at Woods Bagot.

The design sits within the landscape, taking advantage of the hill-face site and embracing views of the ocean and city. The buildings are formed around the central plaza, with landscape design integrating indoor and outdoor spaces.

The project, expected to reinvigorate the overall student culture, incorporates a state-of-the-art wireless network that has been tested in other parts of Flinders. It builds on input from student and staff consultations in 2013, which included a competition for students to pitch their ideas for possible inclusion in the design.

The winner, Tamara Babig, had pitched for more group study areas, club spaces, student kitchens and other aspects aimed at increasing student involvement at the University.

Lendlease’s South Australian Building Business were responsible for the development and said the ability to control the energy usage on the project drove many design initiatives throughout the new development including:

  • The use of LED – energy efficient lighting
  • C-BUS lighting control to maximise and acknowledge daylight
  • Skylights throughout the Hub space to introduce natural lighting and the ability to turn off lights during daylight hours
  • Introduction of a 100kw solar system located on the Hub roof to assist with balancing the power usage of the new development verses the power consumption of the existing buildings
  • Inclusion of energy efficient thermal plant and the use of passive chilled beams throughout the new professional office building.
  • The Hub building is naturally ventilated with the use of controlled louvres to either open or shut dependent on external weather conditions. This initiative saves the University approximately 130kw of peak load.
  • Inclusion of extensive energy recording meters (electrical / gas / water) to facilitate real time energy usage and load shedding data. It also provided a significant level of historical data to assist with further fine tuning and commissioning.

Images: Flinders University