2017 National Architecture Awards: Interior Architecture Award

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UQ Forgan Smith Building – TC Beirne School of Law and Walter Harrison Library Refurbishment by BVN.

UQ Forgan Smith Building – TC Beirne School of Law and Walter Harrison Library Refurbishment by BVN. Image: Christopher Frederick Jones

UQ Forgan Smith Building – TC Beirne School of Law and Walter Harrison Library Refurbishment by BVN
Interior Architecture: National Award
Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

Inserted seamlessly within the University of Queensland’s Forgan Smith Building, this distinctive and refined interior for a relocated law school significantly reimagines the restrictive cellular planning of the shell. It provides for contemporary teaching, learning and research while drawing on the traditions and sensibility of the legal profession for inspiration.

The interior has been radically transformed through the introduction of significant voids, dramatic stairs and new vaulted ceilings defining wayfinding and offering visual delight. A memorable and spatially complex entry experience connects the three previously disconnected levels while revealing movement and interaction between visitors, staff and students. This space provides an identifiable “heart” to the school.

The material palette also pays homage to legal traditions and aesthetics, including in its decorative motifs, while refurbished silky oak doors provide a tangible link to the original fabric. A very high quality of finishes and beautiful custom furniture have been provided within the limits of the budget and procurement framework. The sequential spatial order combines seamlessly with the distinctive character of the separate territories in this elegant and restrained interior.

For more coverage of the UQ Forgan Smith Building – TC Beirne School of Law and Walter Harrison Library Refurbishment, read the article by ArchitectureAU editor (acting), Linda Cheng. 


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