2015 National Architecture Awards: Education Commendation

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Jeffrey Smart Building by John Wardle Architects in association with Phillips/Pilkington Architects.

Jeffrey Smart Building by John Wardle Architects in association with Phillips/Pilkington Architects. Image: Sam Noonan

Jeffrey Smart Building by John Wardle Architects in association with Phillips/Pilkington Architects
Educational Architecture: National Commendation
Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

The Jeffrey Smart Building at the University of South Australia makes an excellent contribution to the western end of Adelaide. The program has been cleverly arranged to ensure that both the university population and the general public are welcomed into the ground-level facilities. Teaching and learning spaces have been organized to create a generous courtyard, a much-needed open space in this dense, urban campus. The Hindley Street facade activates the street through the placement of study spaces immediately inside angled and shaded glazing. A carefully considered mixture of precast concrete and lightweight cladding panels suggests a pattern of shelved books. The design team has masterfully integrated student services, administrative offices, twenty-first-century library services, and teaching and learning spaces that facilitate self-directed as well as teacher-led endeavours. Meeting spaces, a technology hub, student kitchens and breakout spaces complete the student facilities. Technology is integrated throughout, while the Forum space, with its state-of-the-art audiovisual facilities, provides a more formal presentation space. Largely “open plan,” at least visually, areas are defined by activity. Excellent visual access throughout the building simplifies navigation and wayfinding. This building, with its repetition of form, its play of light and shadow and its highly resolved architecture, makes an invaluable contribution to the university campus, the streetscape and Adelaide’s increasingly urban West End.


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