Flinders University Engineering

Koush Design and Phillips/Pilkington Architects developed a new ‘shopfront’ for the College of Science and Engineering in the Physical Sciences Building for Flinders University.

The extension into Anchor Court with a distinctive glazed red brick cylinder creates a beacon visible from the Student Hub on the other side of the lake, providing a strong presence for the College Front and a clear welcome and arrival point once inside. The project responds to its context while creating a lively insertion.

The interior reflects its users – science and engineering students and staff – by exposing and celebrating the building’s original engineering, structure, materials and form by peeling back ceilings to enable both structure and services to be understood and appreciated. All of Anchor Court is based on a grid layout which we carried inside to feature in the new flooring and exposed in the existing ceiling, dissolving the boundary between the interior and exterior. The feature brick cylinder further dissolves this transition by curving its way into the interior and creating a greeting point for new students and visitors alike.

Re-imagining circulation spaces enabled the incorporation of former windowless corridors into workspaces and student gathering areas filled with northern light. Artificial light in the space was also carefully controlled using a mixture of uplighters, downlighters, track fittings and sheer and block out curtains.

Facilities include a welcoming open plan area with banquettes and loose furniture for student study and gathering, and individual interview/meeting rooms for staff and student use.

Staff are screened from this foyer area, while being visually connected via a timber and glass wall. The staff area is open plan with two managers’ offices and several casual meeting spots as well as a formal meeting room. There is also a large break out space/kitchenette that opens on to Anchor Court for alfresco dining, which is also divided from the main circulation space with a banquette for casual dining. Mobile islands in this area have been designed to be able to be wheeled into Anchor Court for outdoor events.