Deakin University, Burwood Campus, Melbourne

DS Architects were engaged in 2017 as Principal Consultant to design a specialised building to accommodate Deakin University’s world leading Exercise and Sports Science programme.

Building U West Facade

The new building has been designed in collaboration with Deakin University sports science staff and accommodates:

  • Clinical Exercise Learning Centre (CELC). This facility of 450sqm is located on the ground floor and has been developed for students of Deakin University’s  Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology course as a facility whereby they can work alongside accredited exercise physiologists and apply their clinical knowledge to real clients. The space is fitted out with a 50m walking track with overhead assistive harness, extensive exercise equipment and consulting rooms.
  • Strength  and Conditioning is taught in a specialist facility of 850sqm on the third floor of the building. This floor has been purpose designed with an isolated concrete floor to prevent transfer of noise and vibrations to the rest of the building. A 50m long running track is located down the west side of the floor, with the remainder of the space setup as a gym that can accommodate 2 classes at any one time.
  • Biomechanics is located on the top floor of the building in a 700sqm facility with 12m high ceilings to enable a range of sport actions to be performed and studied through motion capture cameras. As with Strength and Conditioning, this level has been designed with an isolated concrete floor to minimize noise and vibrations transfer.
  • Adjacent to the Biomechanics space is the Motor Learning Space of 200sqm where up to 10 people can undertake a range of activities, such as hockey dribbling and shooting at visual targets, that can be recorded and analysed.
  • A dedicated Climate Chamber  of 100sqm enables up to 10 people to undertake a range of exercises, such as cycling, in a climate and pressure controlled environment. The chamber is aligned with an observation space  to enable live viewing of the experiment with an integrated audio visual system enables the experiments to be recorded and broadcast live to other venues.
  • Across 600sqm on the second level, staff accommodation offers a range of open plan work areas, consulting rooms and informal works spaces.
  • A purpose designed Audio Visual system is integrated into the design to support the delivery of the course content.

The site chosen for the new building is in a visually prominent location on the Burwood Campus and is the first building to greet visitors from the Burwood Road east entry. Accordingly, the building has been designed to provide a dynamic view on entering the campus with a large cantilevered entry point and angled facade. The running tracks on each level are given visual prominence and express the activities of the building.

The site, though visually prominent, was challenging in that it is sloped with a very small footprint and is surrounded by council land and existing University Buildings. To address these challenges ds architects developed a solution that incorporates the following ideas:

  • A new podium level with  formal entry steps acknowledging the building as an entry to the campus.
  • A drop off zone that provides easy access for injured or disabled persons into CELC
  • A diagonal pedestrian path that bisects the building and both physically and visually leads one into the campus.
  • A 22m high atrium with a central feature stair connects the 4 levels of the building addressing the circulation requirements of 4 large teaching spaces stacked on top of each other.
Building U Level 4
Building U Level 4 2

Due to accreditation requirements, the design programme had very tight timelines – from DS architects being engaged in March 2017, the design and documentation process took 8 months with the lump sum tender documentation issued to market late November 2017. The design team used Autodesk Revit for all stages of the project with documentation taken to Level of Development (LOD) 300. During the design stages REVIT was used to produce virtual reality imagery which enabled ds architects to give Deakin University an immersive understanding of the proposed design solution – this ability to communicate design ideas in virtual reality and the design teams adoption of REVIT assisted in meeting the timelines set for the project

Design Team

  • Principal Consultant – ds architects
  • Building Services Engineers – Cundall
  • Structural Engineers – 4D Workshop
  • Fire Engineer – Meinhardt
  • Building Surveyor – Hendry
  • Landscape Architects –  CDA Design Group
  • Access Consultant – Access Architecture
  • Audio Visual Consultant –  CHW Consulting
  • Acoustic Consultant – Acoustic Logic
  • Quantity Surveyor – Wilde and Woollard
Building U Level 3 2
Building U Level 3 1
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