Working with a 1970’s brutalist gem

The University of Melbourne Academic Services

  • Location: Parkville
  • Client: University of Melbourne
  • Category: Education
  • Year: 2018
  • Photography: Alice Hutchison

Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Country

Scale: 5,000m2 over 7 Levels

Value: $19m

A priority for this project was respecting and strengthening the character of this formerly undervalued 1970s Brutalist architectural gem.
Our approach was to highlight the architectural and material integrity of the building with legible new, but timeless architectural language.

Our actions have effectively repositioned the old building to create a new ‘front door’ to the University campus. 

Our brief for the seven level building was to create student and worker friendly spaces in a new welcoming and functional Student Services Hub with associated administration, enrolment and information functions. We also upgraded the Open Stage theatre space with new tiered seating. The new cafe, meeting rooms and workspaces have a high energy vibe in an open format, while references to the brutalist spirit of the original building are notable throughout the interiors. As expected of adaptive reuse projects, substantial OHS, services, and maintenance upgrades form
a large part of this project’s unseen yet essential work.

Working with a 1970’s brutalist gem

Corner of Swanston St & Grattan St