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2015 National Architecture Awards: Education Commendation

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.


John Wardle Architects
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Project Team
John Wardle, Stefan Mee, Meaghan Dwyer, Minnie Cade, Amanda Moore, Susan Phillips, Brett Julian, Andrew Wong, Barry Hayes, Michael Pilkington, Alison McFadyen, Heather Griffin, Kirrilly Wilson, Alexa Schroder, Bec Wilkie, Ross Goldsworthy, Scott Meek, , Ben Bindon, Genevieve Griffiths, Kah-Fai Lee
Acoustic consultant Sonus
Audiovisual consultant Umow Lai
Builder Hindmarsh
Building surveyor Katnich Dodd
Cost consultant Rider Levett Bucknall – Melbourne
Disability access consultant Disability Consultancy Services
Education consultant Wilson Architects
Facade engineer BG&E
Landscape consultant TCL
Planning consultant URPS
Services & environmental consultant Umow Lai
Services consultant BESTEC
Structural and civil consultant Wallbridge & Gilbert
Wayfinding and branding Arketype
Site details
Project Details



Published online: 5 Nov 2015
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2015
Images: Sam Noonan


Architecture Australia, November 2015

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