Since 2009, Macquarie University has developed a suite of strategic and statutory plans to guide future development of their campus.
The Concept Plan (2009) was the first step, a guide for the formal statutory planning approval for future developments. The Campus Master Plan (2014) followed, setting a strong and flexible framework for growth and improvements to facilities. Finally, the Design Excellence and Urban Design Guidelines (2015 and 2018) provides the strict controls, and detailed design measures, for future campus developments.
The three stages build on the original master plan of the 1960s from which the 126-hectare campus was originally built. They document a visionary commitment to revitalise the buildings, public realm, and biodiversity areas of the University community, to provide premium facilities for the staff and students in the 2020s and well into the future.
From the early planning and design phase in 2015, through to construction completion of the last piece of the puzzle in 2021, Architectus worked closely with Macquarie University to honour their Campus master plan: C7A MAZE (Level 3, 18 Wally’s Walk); Campus Common (Central Courtyard Precinct); Incubator (8 Hadenfeld Avenue); Lincoln Building (16 Wally’s Walk); Y3A Cafe (10 Hadenfeld Avenue), Arts Precinct (12 First Avenue, bordered by Wally’s Walk, First Walk and Western Road); Ainsworth Building (1 Wally’s Walk); 1 Central Courtyard Building (The Hub, Central Courtyard Precinct); Student Accommodation R1 and R2 (Gymnasium Road); and Central Courtyard Precinct.
In realising the opportunity to create a potent place that redefines Macquarie University’s Central Courtyard, we proposed an inviting and dynamic place where students and academics from different disciplines, along with visitors, can meet and interact.
Throughout the transformation of the Central Courtyard, the fundamental elements and structure were retained and celebrated, whilst layering new uses and social infrastructure to create dynamic social and learning spaces which are adaptive and uplifting.
We strived for a ‘learning anytime anywhere’ environment. The lack of delineation between informal learning areas and generous circulation spaces is designed to foster fluid places to meet, discuss and exchange perspectives in the ebb and flow of university life.
The food and beverage strategy moved away from the food hall model to a decentralised model with distribution throughout the Central Courtyard bounding buildings, active laneway connections and the Courtyard itself.
The student accommodation connects to the Central Courtyard and Wally’s Walk ground levels to ensure ease of accessibility and connectivity, and ensures adequate pastoral care with suitable privacy and amenity, communal study lounges, recreation and student lounge spaces.
A building parcel strategy was developed to allowed for sequencing in accordance with capital management planning, building life cycles, building legacy values, decanting, phasing and buildability.
To ensure ongoing operations and to minimise secondary works and disruption, a clear six stage sequence from initial consultation and interaction with the University and all stakeholders through to the completion of the various construction phases was developed.
An agreed sustainability strategy was developed to inform sustainable development principles with respect to carbon footprint, thermal comfort, energy use and water conservation.
Campus community engaged decision-making, strategic phasing and decanting and informed design decisions to maintain continuous operability, allowed future adaptability and ultimately delivered an enduring and inspiring legacy for Macquarie University.
Our vision for the Central Courtyard Precinct was to lift it out of its moribund Brutalist concrete character, to make it significantly more permeable, transparent, accessible, connected, legible, colourful, illuminated and positively engaged with its surrounding campus urban fabric and landscape.