Facilitating collaboration between ICT disciplines in a prominent new public building for the university campus
The Information and Communications Technology building at the University of Newcastle represents a fundamental shift in pedagogy in IT, communications, video and audio production, and graphic design. With the increasing dependence on technology for the delivery of information, the building is designed to enhance the university’s approach of collaboration between disciplines, breaking down the notion of ‘creatives’ vs ‘technicals’.
The building contains approximately 2,100m2 of useable area dedicated to a variety of purposes, including large multi-purpose acoustically isolated studios for the production of video, audio, radio and multimedia; a range of editing suites and research areas with integrated digital technology; computer labs and academic offices and staff facilities, including a new school office. These areas are linked by a primary circulation and data distribution ‘spine’ with open courtyards separating functions and acting as ‘lungs’ to the facility.
The building is located at the main entrance to the university, adjacent to the Great Hall, the spiritual ‘heart’ of the university. As part of the project, a new pedestrian bridge joins the ICT building to the Great Hall and creates a formal entry to the Hall. The site is above an existing two-storey concrete car-park, and is highly visible across campus and from the main entrance. The building is designed to respond to this context and creates a prominent public element to the university.
- Academic and administration offices
- Flexible teaching rooms
- Pedestrian bridge
- Production studio
- Pedestrian bridge and lift positioned to allow them to function independently of the ICT building during Great Hall ceremonies
- Building designed to provide a backdrop to the bush surrounds
- The building is designed to link with the Great Hall to create a prominent gateway into the campus
- Location of air-conditioning plant above the offices, to double the height of the entry facade, giving it significant public presence
- Bridge also houses infrastructure for building services - connected to a major new central plant facility built as part of the ICT building project
- Steel sections of the bridge allow the truss a dual role as structure and hand-rail