Student Hub and Co-Curricular Space

Location

Caulfield, Victoria

Year

2021 – 2023

Services

Principal Consultant
Architecture
Contract Administration
Interior Design
Workplace Strategy and Design
Landscape design
Design team management

A vibrant and inclusive space for students to connect, learn, and engage in extracurricular activities.

Overview

Building K sits at the centre of Monash University’s Caulfield Campus, facing directly onto the Campus Green. With a front row seat to campus life and activity, it’s no surprise that Level 1 (Ground Floor) of the building was chosen by Monash to be transformed into a new campus student hub and co-curricular space.

This vision is reflected in our design which delivers on impact whilst demonstrating an understanding of the space, its inherited character and unique design opportunities through adhering to a clear design narrative crafted around the three key focuses of transparency, relationship and delineation.

Addressing the disconnect

The existing building is a 90s building designed by the Melbourne architectural firm DCM. It has a distinct character with a grey tiled exterior, feature red window framing and the firm’s trademark use of yellow in the exterior columns. What’s missing however is any articulation of this character internally. Our design addresses this disconnect, by referencing these key characteristics in the new interior scheme. 

Affirming relationships and creating delineation

As a mutation of the external within, the new design strongly references the building ’s primary colour palette whilst taking cues from the ‘De Stijl’ design movement to offer a scheme that whilst related to the existing, forms its own interpretation. The use of perforated panelling and orthogonal framing throughout similarly references the building ’s existing materiality and facade composition.

In order to articulate a clear sense of programme and function amidst the various zones, colour and materials are key in lieu of walls and partitions. In what are predominately large open social spaces, the architecture relies heavily on colours and finishes to delineate space and function.

A vibrant modern Student Hub and Co-Curricular Space with colorful walls and seating.

Enabling activation and connection

In order to create an activated ground plane, our scope included some considered interventions to the building frontage. Two large sets of doors and integrated outdoor seating provide the hub with a clear presence from the outside and activate the entranceway.

People sitting on benches in a building with yellow poles at the Student Hub and Co-Curricular Space.

Introducing transparency

Stakeholders at Monash were adamant that the new design be as open and inviting as possible with activity across the social spaces made visible throughout. This visibility is an important tenet for ensuring a sense of openness and transparency across the communal spaces and beyond to establish a dialogue between both inside and outside campus activity.

A woman walks through a building with yellow pillars at the Student Hub and Co-Curricular Space.
Optimising light and visibility

Our design punctures the level 1 facade with new glazing and doors along the walkway to connect it to the outside space and channel as much light as possible into the centre of the building ’s deep floor plate. The use of permeable screening throughout also contributes to greater visibility across the internal spaces such as the games room and events lounge whilst allowing for clear separation of programme.

A person walking through a hallway with yellow walls in the Student Hub and Co-Curricular Space.

Functionality, flexibility and amenity

This highly functional space is already a hive of activity, with students naturally drawn to the space. The hub is set to provide flexibility and amenity well into the future. 

A modern office with yellow and blue walls, featuring a Student Hub and Co-Curricular Space.