Text description provided by the architects. ThomsonAdsett has designed a new Engineering Building for Charles Sturt University, with views of Bathurst’s iconic Mount Panorama race circuit.
The building accommodates the regional university’s unique new degree, which is designed to leave students equipped with both engineering and business skills. ThomsonAdsett’s design meets both needs, by providing a pitching space for business activity and maker studio, which embraces the ‘Maker Movement’ – a trend where discarded or broken goods are reimagined and marketed.
The building’s spatial diversity supports entrepreneurial thinking and the development of high-calibre engineers for employers. ThomsonAdsett developed a ‘Honeycomb of Learning’ – a spatial planning strategy which adds cohesion to the entire building. These clustered collaboration zones express the co-curricular and collaborative nature of the new learning cohort.
The existing facility has been transformed with a gallery, technological wall, Honeycomb of Learning, maker studio, pitch space and labs, which encourage experimentation, partnerships and enterprise. These spaces enable students to develop necessary skills and relationships, before undertaking the field study component of the innovative course.
ThomsonAdsett has created a character and sense of home for this new community, by using materials akin with regional farm and shed buildings. The form and re-use of the existing frames symbolises home, complements the rural shed aesthetic and maximises the use of embodied energy. This unique project illustrates the benefits of designing a curriculum and associated learning environment in parallel. Students and staff are already loving their new engineering home.