State-of-the-art technology, flexibility for change, and a focus on outdoor learning has taken centre stage at University of Wollongong’s Building 29, a gateway to the western entry to the campus, designed by Hassell. Catering to a wide spectrum of ambitions, the new hub brings together schools of the arts, English and media, as well as health and society, geography and sustainable communities into one space built for collaboration and interaction. Some of the new facilities include theatres, recording studios, music rooms, maker spaces, and dance workshop areas.
The University aims to drive significant investment and traffic into Wollongong with a flexible hub for the campus to grow, and a framework for the arts to change and evolve within the building. Hassell Education and Science Sector Leader, Mark Roehrs, said Wollongong is known for its coastal landscapes and weather to match, which led to outdoor learning playing a pivotal role in how the Building was designed. “The building itself, made up of four parallel fingers, is orientated specifically so that it takes in the breathtaking views of Mount Kiera west of the campus” Mark said. “The outdoor learning strategies led to extensive improvements to the wider campus’ landscape too. There’s a safer, more natural flow to the pedestrian walkways, upgraded cyclist infrastructure, and a welcoming connections to the surrounding neighbourhoods,” he said.
The Jillian Broadbent Building also harnesses the maximum amount of daylight inside the building whilst also providing shading, glare control and thermal comfort. A key design feature is the three storey atrium that acts as a connecting space between schools, faculties and the public, which serves as a ‘front of house’ to welcome students, staff and visitors. The atria is an essential part of the building’s design, responsible for harnessing sunlight above the central feature stairway which disperses through all levels of the building.
Principal Glenn Scott points out that; “The building nestles among the native campus landscape below Mount Keira and looks out across the campus eastwards towards ocean views. To the south west it wraps around a huge, existing mature gum tree, softening the building to the adjacent native bushlands creating a protected landscaped enclave.” “This backdrop provided an idyllic setting for the workplace levels in the building, creating a sense of calm and connection to the landscape. The use of full height external and internal glazing creates amazing amenity for the workplace levels, flooded with natural light and views to the mountains and ocean beyond,” Glenn said.