MSJ’s design for the new School of Medicine, Clinical School & Research Centre presents a public face to the role of UWS at Blacktown Hospital. Briefed and designed in two stages, the timing of funds allowed the overall construction of the School and Research Centre to occur as one contract. To provide a campus identity for the students, expert medical teachers, researchers and staff, the diverse functions of the overall complex and the two planning stages of the design were arranged around a central courtyard.
The School’s lobby links the 161 seat lecture theatre, servery kitchen and student common room with tutorial rooms, administration offices and a library through a central stairwell. Views from the stairwell are framed by a geometric composition that responds to the physical movement between the three floors and provides a functional transparency that actively encourages interaction between students and staff. Similarly the lounge areas and kitchen space within the glazed lobby of the Research Centre, are arranged to encourage collaborative interaction between the three floors, which accommodate clinical trials, administration, wet labs and dry labs. The public nature of the lobby space is protected from the western sun by a suspended, glazed screen.