Monash University Clayton's design and construction boom

Monash University have been for some years now steadily overseen the delivery of a string of marquee buildings at their Clayton campus. In and amongst numerous smaller projects designed to foster a 'Campus City' environment, seven mainline buildings have been or are in the process of being delivered in order to boost the quality of facilities, resulting in a high level of design integrity.

The Clayton campus will evolve as an engaged and dynamic University City. Monash Clayton will be a showcase campus: a leader in education and research, distinguished by world-class environmentally sustainable infrastructure, design and landscapes.

The campus’s success will be underpinned by excellence in infrastructure, quality teaching and learning spaces and facilities.

Clayton Campus Masterplan 2011-2030 / MGS Architects

Recent builds

First in Australia to receive a 5 Star Green Star Design rating in its class, the Briggs & Jackomos student residences by BVN Architecture delivered 600 studio apartments to campus during 2011. Designed to hotel standards, the complex contains various amenities within the cutting-edge external timber design which focuses on sustainability, accessibility and an open layout.

The two buildings thereafter won gongs at the 2012 Melbourne Design Awards, 2012 British Architects International Awards and the Frederick Romberg Award at the 2012 National Architecture Awards relating to residential architecture excellence.

Student residences & New Horizons. Housing images courtesy

2013 heralded the completion of New Horizons, with the Lyons facility dedicated toward research and teaching in future manufacturing. Biomedicine, transport, aerospace and mineral processing are key platforms researched within New Horizons which has been previously highlighted by Urban Melbourne.

Currently under construction

Bringing additional colour to campus are four separate student accommodation buildings at varying stages of construction. Brookfield Multiplex are delivering the combined 1000 new studio apartments atop what once were at grade car parks.

In order of appearance below, McBride Charles Ryan Architects, Hayball Architects - Richard Middleton Architects and Jackson Clements Burrows Architects have conceived the new student halls which much like Briggs & Jackomos are expected to achieve a Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star ‘5-star As-Built’ rating.

Ready for occupancy during January 2016, the buildings will line a planned 'Main Street' & pedestrian walk.

Images courtesy Monash Residential Services

Elsewhere contractor Lend Lease are applying the finishing touches to the new Lyons-designed Green Chemical Futures complex. The $80 million building consists of 9,300sqm over five storeys and will house the School of Chemistry in addition to associated research facilities.

Green Chemical Futures October 2014

Green Chemical Futures will house over 100 chemists and engineers and allow the growth of basic science research to targeted industry-driven research. It will have 17 specialist sectors, training programmes for industry practitioners and new laboratory spaces available for over 1000 students and 100 industry partners.

Monash University

Enter Moshe Safdie

In many ways the big ticket item yet to appear at Monash Clayton is the new Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music. Famed international architect Moshe Safdie has collaborated with Fender Katsalidis to deliver the project which had a nominal start date of 2014, but has yet to break ground.

Architecture has an extraordinary impact on our lives. It impacts how we work, live, and experience our environment. With that comes a great responsibility.

For me, the foundation of architectural thinking is this impact on people. And the solutions evolve from characteristics of place, culture and contemporary life. In this way we can create buildings that belong and thereby enrich the community.

Moshe Safdie on the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music
Images courtesy Australian Design Review

Monash Clayton indicative of others

Monash Clayton is indicative of many other tertiary institutions around Melbourne and Victoria for that matter in that the ubiquitous brick buildings of the mid part of last century on campus have been superseded by a new breed of interesting, sustainable and well considered buildings mark a new era.

Melbourne University Parkville, La Trobe University Bundoora and Deakin Burwood have all welcomed new additions in the last year that are highly expressive and considerate of their surrounds. Monash Caulfield is next in line with a raft of new developments envisaged; although the project hasn't been without its issues.

As for Monash Clayton, the masterplan suggests campus students will increase from a figure of 26,700 during 2011 to a predicted 36,000 come 2030. In light of such growth Clayton's new building boom is warranted; that they are each of a high quality is now the welcomed norm and a benchmark for future developments.

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