Built pedagogy on display where the building becomes the lesson

UTAS School of Architecture & School of Fine Furniture

  • Location: Launceston
  • Client: University of Tasmania
  • Status: Complete
  • Category: Education
  • Year: 2010
  • Photography: Patrick Rodriguez


• AIA (Tas) Public Architecture Award, Winner, 2010

• AIA (Tas) Sustainable Architecture Award, Winner, 2010

• AIA (National) Awards for Sustainable Architecture, Winner, 2007

• AIA (Tas) Public Architecture Awards, Winner, 2007

• AIA (Tas) Heritage Architecture Awards, Winner, 2007

• AIA (National) Lachlan Macquarie Awards for Heritage, Winner, 2007

A case study of innovation through collaboration, Six Degrees worked with consultants from Sustainable Built Environments ensuring the successful implementation of leading Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) principles. Exemplary ESD, an approach to ‘learning by making’ and focus on timber research was central to the University of Tasmania’s brief for the new school of Architecture & Design and its adjacent Fine Furniture workshop.

Being the first purpose-built facility of its type in the country, Six Degrees was guided by current thinking in education and the rawness of materiality, choosing simplicity of form and structure to achieve a clean composition sympathetic to the industrial heritage of the building and precinct.

Power, greenhouse gas and water usage was reduced by about 50% over an equivalent university building by finding key solutions like Australia’s first solar wall heater, recycled brick labyrinth cooling and displacement ventilation. Heating is delivered by a panelised and an under-floor hydronic system which circulates water heated from an air sourced heat pump. Materials and finishes were selected for low emissions and an 80,000 litre rainwater storage services toilets and landscape irrigation. 80% of construction waste was diverted from landfill.

The school is situated on the traditional lands of the Palawa/Pakana people of Lutruwita near Launceston’s Cataract Gorge rock formations.

‘This partnership between architects and environmental consultants was a key factor in the selection of a design team by UT as to realise the school’s vision for ecologically sustainable architecture’ Architecture AU