IT Research Facility Monash University

IT Research Facility Monash University

Architect
DS Architects
Location
Melbourne Victoria, Australia | View Map
Project Year
2021
Category
Universities
Michelle Williams
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Comms cupboard insulationMegasorber
PowdercoatDulux Australia
Black
Vivid White
Duratec Zeus Lunar Grey Matt
Duralloy Rapidcure White Satin
Duratec Zeus Black Matt
Duralloy White Satin
Fluoroset Xtreme Black Matt
Fluoroset Xtreme White Satin
ManufacturersColorbond
COLORBOND® steel colours Night Sky
COLORBOND® steel colours Shale Grey™
CarpetInterface
Equilibrium II
Vinyl SheetingTarkett
Primo Premium
Concrete PavingHydrocon
HydroSTON H50

Product Spec Sheet
Comms cupboard insulation
Powdercoat
Fluoroset Xtreme White Satin, Fluoroset Xtreme Black Matt, Duralloy White Satin, Duratec Zeus Black Matt, Duralloy Rapidcure White Satin, Duratec Zeus Lunar Grey Matt, Vivid White, Black by Dulux Australia
Manufacturers
COLORBOND® steel colours Shale Grey™, COLORBOND® steel colours Night Sky by Colorbond
Carpet
Equilibrium II by Interface
Vinyl Sheeting
Primo Premium by Tarkett
Concrete Paving
HydroSTON H50 by Hydrocon

IT Research Facility Monash University

DS Architects as Architects

The IT Research facility is a smart reworking of old that showcases new, cutting-edge virtual reality (VR) technology for students and the broader university community.

photo_credit Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams

The project is part of a large relocation of the Faculty of IT from the Caulfield campus to the Clayton campus, and transforms two disused lecture theatres in the university’s engineering precinct. Merging together, the theatres give rise to a series of spaces designed for purpose-built, 3D motion capture, and relevant support areas.

The core idea was to create high tech environments to support the faculty’s VR research, in keeping with the ideals expressed in the Monash University Masterplan. We took this a step further, by making the act of research visible through thoughtfully conceived design.

Our design punctuates the facade with a series of large, square windows to the north and west. Rather than simply looking at a glorified façade, passersby are invited to peer into the windows, which reveal the VR zones and research in action, akin to a shopfront display.

Caption

The fenestrations are strategically placed along a primary circulation path, after analysing the way people move around the site. For example, the west side attracts the most traffic, so the VR spaces were placed on this side. Metal shroud shopfront windows signify the new work and enable ‘Research on show’, also in line with the University’s Masterplan.

Caption

The design process included a careful study of existing VR reality environments, including a PHD research space and existing VR space at Caulfield as well as the biomechanics research space at Deakin University.

After experimenting with many different design iterations, our response was to design a large virtual reality testing zone to the west of the building. This could be split into four smaller zones, providing the flexibility to create different environments required to conduct a mix of research and data collection.

Caption

The building comprises:

New dedicated research space
Large 9m x 9m VR testing zone to the west end of the building
Open plan technical workspace for 15 people
Office space
Kitchen amenities.

Caption

During construction, the tiered concrete lecture theatres were stripped out and half of the ceiling above the VR zones was fitted with highly specialised overhead motorised grids. Attached to the grid is a series of mounted motion tracking cameras, as well as provision for speakers, projectors, light and additional tracking cameras.

Accordingly, the grids required precise and additional bracing and bracing points. This was important to ensure that they are stable while the cameras are in use for precise in motion capture. The grids can also be brought up and down to rearrange the cameras, to suit research requirements.

Caption

As demands on the building also change, the research facility is future proofed. The open plan office space is designed to allow the refit of additional VR space, which can flex and grow with the facility. Colour and modern features include delicate detailing of a new trellis for planting, while for occupants, the new windows provide access to natural light lacking in the former theatres.

Caption

As much as this project is about the future, it also pays homage to the past. The brickwork façade was treated carefully and deliberately with a heritage approach, and retained to not only minimise waste, but also to bring a unique design element to the project. This is highlighted by deliberate, staggered brick detail showcasing previous doorways, signifying the past life of the building.

Caption

Together, the old and new elements create a building that sparks conversations and interest by those who walk by. Located within the engineering precinct also means greater opportunities for cross-disciplinary interaction between the faculties, a third ideal of the masterplan. 

At heart, this is a building that delivers on the university’s vision to be a leader in education and research. In doing so, we are proud to contribute a building at the forefront of the university’s future, which is supporting the best and brightest technology minds in Australia.

Caption

 

Materials Used Section 16a:

Floors:

HydroControl HydroSton H50 - Permeable Paving (PV)

Concrete Paving, Concrete Paving (CPV), Concrete Footpath, Exposed concrete in front of door, Exposed concrete

Walls & Linings:

Brickwork - BRF, BRR, Existing External Brickwork (BRX), Mortar

Stainless Steel Trellis - Dulux  Fluoroset Xtreme Aluminium SHS and fixing plates, Mesh Anodised

Doors:

Dulux Powdercoat Fluoroset Xtreme- Aluminium door frame (PC1), Alumnium frame for door leaf, Shroud (PC1), Cover for auto door operator (PC1), Aluminium frame for sidelight (PC1), Shroud, Door Frame

Dulux - Door Leaf - external side, Door Leaf - internal side

Glazing Framing & Film:

Dulux Powdercoat Fluoroset Xtreme- Glazing Adaptors, External Window Shroud (PC1)

Internal Aluminium Windows / Shrouds, Safety Decal

Roof:

Colorbond - Roof Sheeting, Ridge Capping, Gutters, Rain Water heads (RWH), downpipes (DP), Parapet flashing and capping

Dulux - Existing downpipes noted to be painted on the drawings

Mechanical:

Dulux Powdercoat Duratec Zeus- Roof Cowls, Screen Around Condenser Unit On Roof

Dulux - New Pipework

Colorbond - Covers To External Pipework And Cable Trays

Electrical:

Colorbond - Covers To External Cable Trays

External Wall lights (W1)

Caption

Materials Used Section 16b:

Floors:

Troika - Dirt Barrier Mat

Interface - Equilibrium II Carpet Tarkett - Vinyl Sheeting VS1 Tarkett Primo Premium, Highlight Welding Rod iQ Surface, Vinyl Sheeting VS2 Tarkett Primo Premium, Welding Rod iQ Surface, Vinyl Sheeting VS3 iQ Granit SD Anti- static, Welding Rod

Walls & Linings:

Dulux - Internal exposed brick, Existing Steelwork, Plasterboard feature paint colour (PF1), Flush Plasterboard Boxing To Mechanical Fan Coil Units And Exhaust Fans

Dulux Powdercoat - Aluminium plate to P1 wall (AP1)

ITE - Curtains 500gsm wool-fire retardant

Track (CTK)

Ceilings:

Perforated Plasterboard (PP)

Dulux - Existing Steelwork, New Steelwork

Skirtings:

Armstrong - Vinyl 150mm Flat vinyl skirting

Windows:

Sapphire Aluminium - Internal Aluminium Shroud / Reveals (AF1)

Dulux Powdercoat Fluoroset Xtreme - Glazing Adaptors

Blinds:

Mermet - Sheer M Screen 5% Openness, Blockout Plaza Plus

Dulux Powdercoat - Bracket, Fascia and Endcap, Bottom Rail

Joinery:

Laminex - Tea Point Benchtop (LM1), Splashback (SB), Concealed Shelves, Carcass, Kickboard, Kicker

Woven Image - Acoustic Panel cupboard fronts (EP1)

Dulux Powdercoat - Trim to Acoustic Panel, Perforated Metal sheet behind Acoustic Panel, Perforated Metal Sheet Behind Acoustic Panel, CHS, Brackets And End Caps

Megasorber - Comms Cupboard Insulation

Screw fixings for Acoustic Panel Cupboard Fronts, Fixings

Motorised Grid:

Dulux Powdercoat - Space truss and adjustable pipes Alphatec, Hanging rods, Pulley, Winch, Wire Ropes, Energy Chains, Cable Duct

Power and data outlets, Motor control cabinet

Electrical:

Dulux Powdercoat Cable Trays - Mounted to brickwork, Mounted to underside of perforated plasterboard ceiling

Dulux Powdercoat Lights - Suspended Linear lights L1, L2, L3, LED1 Light, LED2 light, Skirting Duct

Dulux Fluoroset Xtreme - LED3 light

Emergency Lights, Exit Lights, Power And Data Outlets On Skirting Duct, GPOs at high level, WAPS and security cameras, Access Control

Mechanical:

Dulux Powdercoat - Return Air Grilles, Supply Air Grilles, HHW, CHW Pipework, Cabletrays, Ductwork

Fire:

Speakers And Smoke Detectors.

Read story in ItalianoEspañolFrançaisDeutsch and Português

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Naso refurbishes an exemplary modernist structure as a hub for art and sustainable dining
27 Sep 2022 News
Naso refurbishes an exemplary modernist structure as a hub for art and sustainable dining

Located in the heart of Bosque de Chapultepec in Mexico City, Lago/Algo is a cultural hub managed an... More

Perkins&Will complete innovative São Paulo residential project inspired by Oscar Niemeyer and the Brazilian modernist movement
27 Sep 2022 News
Perkins&Will complete innovative São Paulo residential project inspired by Oscar Niemeyer and the Brazilian modernist movement

In São Paulo, global studio Perkins&Will have completed a impressive residential project... More

ACB living by Lighthouse is a dynamic Co-working space that activates the urban fabric
26 Sep 2022 News
ACB living by Lighthouse is a dynamic Co-working space that activates the urban fabric

Set within the small island town of Iki in the Nagasaki prefecture, Japanese firm Lighthouse designe... More

Forest House by Inblum Architects reflects the local spirit of the Lithuanian landscape
26 Sep 2022 News
Forest House by Inblum Architects reflects the local spirit of the Lithuanian landscape

Reflecting the local spirit and context, this reconstructed residential house in Lithuania’s P... More

Gravity vanishes and the unexpected emerges at new wellbeing extension by noa* network of architecture
26 Sep 2022 News
Gravity vanishes and the unexpected emerges at new wellbeing extension by noa* network of architecture

Following completion of their iconic cantilevered pool project in Hubertus, Olang, in 2016, noa* net... More

10 hotels with impressive sunbeds for a relaxing holiday
24 Sep 2022 News
10 hotels with impressive sunbeds for a relaxing holiday

Pools, daybeds and lounges make up the focal point for most hotels in summer destinations. The pool... More

Vibrant vistas and seamless edges define this pre-primary school in Gokak, India
22 Sep 2022 News
Vibrant vistas and seamless edges define this pre-primary school in Gokak, India

Built on a triangular-shaped piece of land in an existing educational campus in Gokak, Shreyas Patil... More

Along Romania’s Bistrita River, a new fish restaurant concept sits in subtle tandem with nature
22 Sep 2022 News
Along Romania’s Bistrita River, a new fish restaurant concept sits in subtle tandem with nature

Located in a context lacking strong visual elements, LOTCA by yellow office architecture is a new fi... More