Macquarie University School of Engineering
Teaching, research, and office spaces
Date 2017 - 2018
In July 2017, MCA Architects were approached regarding an urgent design project for Macquarie University’s School of Engineering. In the previous four years, the School had outgrown existing facilities on campus and were in desperate need of additional teaching, research, and office spaces. With new programs launching in July 2018, there were 12 months to guide the project from initial briefing and strategic recommendations through to practical completion.
An off-site premises with 3000m2 of warehouse and 1000m2 of office space became available for the School. MCA Architects developed the project scope and brief based on teaching and research programs that ought to be relocated to the new off-campus building and recommended adaptive reuse of existing on-campus facilities.
With a tight budget, and extremely tight timeframe, MCA acted as lead consultant to design, document teaching laboratories, student workspaces, specialist research laboratories, engineering and machine workshops, and office spaces for over 100 staff.
Given the industrial nature of the site, MCA opted for a functional, industrial aesthetic, maximising large spaces utilising large suspended aluminium box truss sections to reinforce this aesthetic.
Numerous spaces required specialist services such as lab gases, electrical, or mechanical provisions:
Fluid Mechanics laboratory with Linear and Rotating wind tunnels, plus laser laboratory
3D Printing manufacturing and research laboratory within dust-free, explosion-proof bunker
Mechanical research and Furnace laboratory
High-powered electronics research laboratory
“Field Test Area” with Robotics test field in conjunction with FIRST Robotics
Mechanical and Electronic “Maker space” workshops
Machine workshops including CNC Routing, Paint Room, and Grinding/Sanding Room
Additionally, student facilities such as Computer rooms, Common breakout spaces, and Peer Assisted Learning tutorial rooms were designed at the heart of the School to serve the 300+ students, and hundreds of FIRST Robotics high school students with a comfortable, engaging atmosphere.