Landscape Architect: Wilson Landscape Architects; John Harrison and Ilka Salisbury
Structural + Civil Consultant: Flanagan Consulting
Acoustic Engineer: Ron Rumble Renzo Tonin
Builder: McNab Construction
Text description provided by the architects. JCU identified a need to upgrade its Townsville Campus to provide improved student services and to support contemporary methods of teaching and learning. In so doing, it had the opportunity to create an environment that better reflected JCU’s tropical identity, and to build a stronger sense of community among the staff and students.
How can we begin to rethink a university campus based on community and its places particular climate of its place?
Authentically talking with students and staff really helps. The first step was a comprehensive research program including staff and student interviews, and area and use studies of the whole university campus. The research covered all areas of the student experience including how they wanted to interact with each other, what kinds of learning support they preferred, what kinds of services they needed and how they wanted to access them, right down to how they wanted to feel when they are on campus. These insights became the basis of a plan to revitalise the campus with the JCU Education Central at its heart.
Student Hub + School of Education Services Precinct
The Student Hub is the new front door to the university. It follows a student-led / staff-assisted model of service that was developed specifically for JCU. Based on the latest retail service models, students have a choice of service points (from self-service to fully assisted), and access to interview rooms and pods, and flexible furniture. Staff move around the space providing help as needed.
As well as the student services centre, the building contains large-scale active learning spaces, including aTechnology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) room, collaborative lecture theatre, wet and dry teaching spaces, peer-to-peer learning area, outdoor learning area, coffee shop and diverse social learning areas. These larger, more flexible spaces, encourage peer-to-peer learning and extend learning beyond the traditional classroom environment.
Dedicated School of Education zones also include academic and postgraduate suites and administration work areas. A staff lounge/lunch area is included on the Eastern end of the building, and is accessible by all Student Services and School of Education staff. This adjoins an outdoor terrace, with views back across the creek to the Library.