DS Architects was engaged in 2020 to deliver a world-class research facility to accommodate Monash University’s Saving Antarctica’s Environmental Future (SAEF) program. This initiative brings together global environmental research leaders from over thirty government and educational organisations. Our team designed a strategic fitout that transformed the space into a fit-for-purpose department that catered aesthetically to the public-facing role the facility would play, welcoming government officials and high-profile international visitors.
Diverse stakeholder groups, including researchers, University executives and the broader university community, were highly invested in this project. Bringing together various viewpoints cohesively was a challenge in determining the design. Our team’s task was to consult each group, overcoming the communication parameters of COVID-19, to determine the right balance of technical necessities for researchers and the University’s design expectations to ensure equality between departments and consistency throughout the campus.
Throughout the delivery process, we worked with senior executives of Monash University, who relied on our expertise to ensure the direction and design rationale of this high-profile project. Our task was to maintain the project timeline while also accommodating the inputs of diverse stakeholders and ensuring that the new fit-out maintained Monash University’s Design Standards. Balancing this new and prominent research chapter with the heritage elements of the campus was a challenge that drew our team to the project.