The Higher Education sector was again strongly represented at The World Architecture Festival in Singapore last week. In the HE and Research Completed Building category there was a strong shortlist including two projects from Founder Members: The Ulster University Belfast Campus by Fielden Clegg Bradley, and University of Glasgow’s Advanced Research centre by HOK.
The winner was Murdoch University in Western Australia by Lyons Architecture: The project called Boola Katitjin – a Whadjuk Noongar name meaning ‘lots of learning – is a major new campus learning building, accommodating a wide range of contemporary learning and industry engagement spaces, student services, and academic workspace, making a significant contribution to the University’s commitment to environmental education and the cultural life of the campus . The architectural language is characterised by a powerful asymmetrical gabled roof form, linear colonnades providing deep shade, extensive use of exposed eucalypt timbers, and indoor and outdoor spaces connecting the student body to ‘bush’ landscapes and country in a respectful way – a language amplified and scaled up to create a major new campus typology, as a focus for student life. The mass timber structure is also a major contributor to environmental sustainability by reducing the overall embodied carbon within the project by 55%. It demonstrates leadership in promoting a virtuous circular economy, where durability minimal waste, reusability and recycling will provide long-term environmental benefit.