Hedley Bull Centre / Lyons


Architects: Lyons
Location: , Australia
Project manager: Contract Control
Project area: 4,915 sqm
Project year: 2007
Photographs: Trevor Mein & Dianna Snape

© Lyons

Located at one of the principal gateways to the Australian National University’s campus this new building brings together three previously separate schools specialising in international relations and comparative politics into a new purpose designed facility.

hedley bull floor plan 01

Internally a continuous loop plan on the upper levels subverts the conventional ‘institutional’ paradigm of dead ended corridor buildings. Offices requiring reflective work are located around the perimeter while the more active programs are positioned around the central atrium space. Stairs and active programs project out into the central space reinforcing a sense of community and exchange.

© Lyons

The main public spaces are all located on the ground floor, extending the existing continuum of teaching facilities and urban places across the campus.

site plan

Externally the building is expressed as an object in the round and marks the corner with a strong hexagonal elevation and form. At a finer scale elongated grooves are cut into the facade distorting the planar nature of the walls and deflating the heroic nature of the building. This contradiction between the heroic and distorted is an attempt to represent the difficulties in reconciling a seemingly pure encompassing idea with the complexities and prosaic realities of the building, a challenge both for architects and students of international/relations.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Hedley Bull Centre / Lyons" 29 Dec 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=99198>
  • http://on.fb.me/holcim-awards Holcim Awards US

    This is an effective design that leads to an interesting educational environment. The hexagonal plan surrounding an atrium allows for the integration of departments and sharing of ideas. It also allows for ample daylight to penetrate deep inside of the building and natural ventilation.

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  • alex

    The atrium is impressive but i don’t think it is a particularly friendly space, perhaps because of the protruding elements, perhaps the colour scheme. I don’t think the ‘sense of community’ is helped by partition walls every few metres or so… And why a hexagon?

    still it’s miles better than the crap i design!

  • Paul

    That atrium is rad.

    And I like your comment, Alex.

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