2016 National Architecture Awards: Educational Architecture Commendation

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UNSW Materials Science and Engineering Building by Grimshaw.

UNSW Materials Science and Engineering Building by Grimshaw. Image: John Gollings

UNSW Materials Science and Engineering Building by Grimshaw
Educational Architecture: National Commendation
Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

A relentless pursuit of clarity and precision in both plan and form is what defines this strong and finely considered building. Research laboratories form the physical and literal core of the University of New South Wales Materials Science and Engineering Building and their specific functional and service requirements have resulted in an exacting and carefully resolved plan. The highly serviced research core is surrounded by collaborative, office and meeting spaces, providing continual access to daylight and connection back to the wider campus. The building is unashamedly strong in scale and form and gives order to the new science precinct and definition to the Alumni Park. Monumental vertical louvres surround the building’s glass skin and provide a bold and graphic modulation that hints at an almost playful response to the spaces and functions that lie behind. The deep, sunlit colonnade borders the park, its statuesque proportions a nod to the grandeur of the classical colonnade of traditional campus architecture. A highly engineered response to a program that has engineering at its core, the building provides a tightly controlled and precise resolution to physical and chemical science laboratories, while encouraging research teams to collaborate beyond the immediate confines of the lab and to connect with their wider community.


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