The Student Hub at Murdoch University is a flexible adaptive community space to socialise, refresh, engage and co-work. The Hub stimulates reflection on nature and human interaction, where geometry and order meet naturalenergy and rhythms, where stories can be told and journeys explored.
The Student Hub establishes the centre of student life at the cultural heart of the campus. A flexible, adaptative, community place with indoor and outdoor spaces to socialise, refresh and co-work. Itdraws together several University functions into one cohesive space and becomes a homeaway from home for students on the South Street campus.
The Student Hub is the largest investment made by Murdoch University in its 40-year history to improve the student experience delivered on campus.
What was the project brief?
To establish the centre of student life at the cultural heart of the campus.
1. Re-energise and activate Bush Court as the cultural heart of the university
2. Respect the heritage and character of Bush Court
3. Engage and inspire the Murdoch University community
4. Create a vibrant, engaging, innovative, fun, social space
5. Improve the perception of Murdoch University
6. Improve connectivity between external and internal spaces
7. Improve the food and beverage offer - one that meets its complex market
8. Increase access to informal learning areas and collaborative working space
What were the challenges of the project?
Bush Court is the iconic heart and key public realm of Murdoch University and, while it is a wonderful place to sit onthe lawn there was little else encouraging longer visitation and limitations on usability due to bad weather was anissue.
What was your solution?
The redevelopment of the ‘Hub’ has allowed new programming and place management of the space with amix of occasional, larger events and many small scale, everyday interventions within the new space.
A direct connection between the ‘Summer Courtyard’ and Bush Court has been achieved by the removal of a sectionof Building 430. This was a significantintervention to create activation and enable events to be held in this space.
Outdoor spaces now encourage a ‘work/study anywhere’ concept, aided by the creation of micro-climates to provide respite and a point of difference to internal spaces.
Who are the clients and what’s interesting about them?
From their beginnings, Murdoch University have been a free-thinking university to the global centre for learning, teaching, research and industry who have never lost sight of their purpose.
With more than 23,000 students and 1,700 staff from across 90 different countries, Murdoch are proud to be recognised for the impact that their free-thinking graduates, life-changing research, and innovative campus and industry developments have made – both in Western Australia and around the world.
How is the project unique?
The wonderful landscape with mature trees has been preserved, while the steep topography has been transformedfrom a barrier into an attractive usable place.
New places and connections have been made that support fun and play, encourage increased visitation, buildcommunity and provide numerous positive effects on the mental and physical health of users to meet the social andemotional needs of the people who study and work on campus.
To some extent, the ‘concourse-like’ condition of the building façades collectively turned their back on the key publicspace. A redesigned edge condition facilitates stopping and interacting within the space and the functions within thebuildings.