This project is a sustainable building designed to be the new social heart of University of South Australia’s City West campus.
The building’s main features are the hall, a pool, sports facilities and function spaces, as well as integrated green spaces.
It was important to create a welcoming destination for both students and visitors. According to the architects, this has been achieved by allowing public access to interior and exterior spaces, which creates a sense of public ownership and engagement.
At the north-eastern and western sides of the building, the roof extends down to street level to create two terraced green recreation spaces which function as large external public amphitheaters. These flanked “green wings” are designed to produce an exceptional display of textures and colors, showcasing the plant species from Southern Australia with emphasis on those from the Adelaide region.
At the heart of the building is the hall, which is located on the ground floor. Differing from traditional academic main halls, this hall acts as a multifunctional space that houses sporting activities, ceremonies and other events.
The 1,600 sqm Hall includes a climbing wall and a student lounge mezzanine at the second level. It can easily be transformed from a sports hub to a capacious event space with the ability to host everything from banquets to UniSA’s annual graduation ceremonies for up to 2,000 people.
UniSA Sport is located at the basement level and includes a gymnasium, dance studio and a unique 25m swimming pool. Vertical connection between these spaces and the ground floor is created through the use of glazed voids between the street and the lobby, where views and daylight are able to penetrate with maximum effect.
In alignment with UniSA’s target of 15 percent reduction in campus-wide carbon emissions by 2021, this project utilises several energy-reducing strategies that are both high and low-tech.
For example, the design of Pridham Hall allows natural light to penetrate deep into the building, from the basement level through to level one, reducing the need for artificial lighting and heating by using efficient passive design features.
The ground floor lobby space has permeable glazed facades which open up and allow for natural ventilation, creating an indoor-outdoor space and flexible use. The northern and western lobbies are considered a single internal plaza space, with strong visual and physical connection to the outside, allowing full enjoyment of the warm Adelaide climate.