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Densifying the Inner campus

Part 1 Project 2012
Will Colenso
University of Queensland Brisbane Australia
The Global Change Institute is a rapidly growing university based research group. Its focus is on providing innovative solutions to worldwide problems through new dynamic forms of multidisciplinary research. However, reconciling the design demands of such a progressive organization within a campus dominated by heritage architecture is something the university has been tentative to attempt.

This hesitation that has led to a fear of densification of the inner heart of the campus and has resulted in a series of disjointed satellite hubs around the university’s periphery. What’s left is a segregated campus. An awkward juxtaposition of old and new.

Just as the Global Change Institute acknowledges our impact on the world around us, so to must it’s new research facilities acknowledge their significance within and impact on the historical context of the campus.

To do so, the project looks beyond itself. It seeks to act as both a site-specific response and a simple 5-step design framework to stimulate a tentative university and encourage a more exciting future for the campus.

A continuous perforated building skin conceals the fluidity of the scheme. Moving close to the colonnade the skin wraps – concealing the scale and proportioning of the new form. Respecting the delicate proportioning and classic style of the campus’ iconic sandstone.

Within this skin the design becomes free and expressive. Forms are free to create an exciting new layering of spaces around the colonnade and facilitate a new direction for interaction with the university’s most iconic architecture.

Will Colenso


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