Six Degrees has been working with the University of Melbourne since 2000 and this project, was one of our first undertaken at the Parkville Campus.
Building 250 provides classrooms and computer facilities for Melbourne University’s Economics Department. The project was completed in two stages. Stage One involved the refurbishment of an original, neglected heritage building; and Stage Two expanded on this with a new extension designed as a kind of black metal box reminiscent of a computer CPU.
Our scheme provided a flexible, open/shut functionality that is adaptable for different needs. With the aim to produce healthy, fresh computer labs, timber baton screens are used let in natural air and light in a controlled way to reduce screen glare.
The old and new buildings are linked with a glass walkway and a timber deck. In the decked area we continued the ‘computer’ theme, playing with LED lights and using road signs as sun screens (evocative of big ventilation grills). A stained glass cube protrudes out of the black box, glowing like a big ‘on’ button.
This project was to provide a temporary facility for 300 computers, and was planned to be used only for five years. More than a decade on, this 300 computer facility is still used intensively, and is valued for its flexibility, light and air quality, as well as the quality of the space.