Exercise and Sports Science Building

Location

Burwood, Victoria

Year

2017 – 2022

Services

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

Overview

Deakin University’s Exercise and Sports Science Building is a spectacular four-floor facility inspired by dynamic forms of movement. The new building comprises indoor and outdoor activities within a sustainable and controlled environment, offering research and teaching amenities to accommodate Deakin University’s world-leading exercise and sports science programme.

The central concept of the building expresses the different ways the human body moves, woven through a contemporary design using aesthetic forms that make a statement balanced with the facility’s state-of-the-art functions.

Inclusive design thinking

Our design vision is underpinned by critical thinking about who this building caters for – all bodies, all ages and all abilities. The new floorplate resolves the significant spatial issues of pre-existing facilities and the difficulty of bringing outdoor ball activities inside. The new facility provides a highly professional environment for people of all abilities to teach from, research within and practice using the spaces.

A highly technical design response

The structure is designed with a high-performance suspended concrete floor system to minimise noise and vibrations within the building, with access to natural light for all occupants, including a vast 22m high atrium with a central stair connecting the four levels, plus a 450sq m roof mounted solar panel system with photovoltaic inverters, and rainwater harvesting.

Celebrating Complexity

Taking its cue from athletes in starting blocks and spilt bags of balls in a gym, the exterior of the building challenges current sports science university models with a fresh approach – celebrating the complexity, precision, and technology in sports analysis.

Biomechanics and more

The building also includes a:

  • 50m long running track and gym space devoted to strength and conditioning on level 3;
  • biomechanics facility on the top floor, with 12m high ceilings to provide for a range of sport actions to be studied and performed through motion capture cameras;
  • motor learning space, also on the top level, with an 18m x 3m video projection wall allowing sporting activities to be recorded and analysed, and providing for 1:1 scale projections of real life field sporting scenarios; and
  • climate chamber providing a climate and pressure controlled environment on level 2.

A point of pride

The new building has enabled Deakin University to retain its number one ranking as Australia’s best sports science facility and its ranking as a global leading school in sports science.

“This impressive new building is another jewel in the Deakin crown… We are excited by the opportunities it will create to enhance our engagement with the community, who will benefit from the future work of Deakin graduates trained by outstanding researchers and lecturers in the very best facilities”

Professor Iain Martin
Vice-Chancellor, Deakin University

Glasshouse Teaching Hub

Location

Epping, Victoria

Year

2021 – 2022

Services

Architecture
Interior Design
Workplace Strategy and Design
Design team management

An educational facility design featuring a building made of black and white panels.

Overview

Developed on a vacant site, deep within Melbourne Polytechnic’s Epping Campus, the new Glasshouse facility was conceived to demonstrate a commitment to the growth of Victoria’s Food and Fibre Industry.

The objective was to provide a state-of-the-art facility that would respond to the needs, priorities and innovations within the sector, combining theory-based classroom learning with hands-on experience to facilitate a training and education centre that will enable the up-skilling of a future focussed workforce in aquaponics, hydroponics and modern agricultural practices.

Enhancing campus connection

We challenged the brief from the outset. Working in collaboration with Lloyd Group, we inverted the concept plan provided, relocating the larger Glasshouse volume to the rear of the facility and positioning the education centre to face inwards towards the campus heart. This allowed us to establish a greater connection between the facility and the rest of the precinct.

Supporting Melbourne Polytechnic’s pedagogy

Key to the design was understanding Melbourne Polytechnic’s teaching and learning philosophy that proffers the development of skills through practice and practical industry experience. This pedagogical approach is reflected through the architecture which links the Glasshouse and Classrooms via a long internal corridor and central entrance, providing a palpable visual connection between the spaces. The two are similarly linked by their roof and ceiling forms where the classrooms celebrate the portal frame architecture of the Glasshouse.

A man walking through a modern office building, surrounded by glass walls.

Complementing campus character

Having worked with Melbourne Polytechnic to deliver the adjacent Green Skills Centre we were mindful of the existing building context and subsequently used a subdued natural colour palette inside and out to create a broader connection to these facilities.

Delivering to a tight program

The project program was truncated, requiring us to collaborate closely with Lloyd Group to ensure delivery milestones would be met. The simplicity of our striking architectural design meant we could accommodate the compressed program by simplifying materiality and ensuring appropriate lead times, as well as enabling a staged approach to building permit approvals.

Separate yet symbiotic

Whilst the form and floor plan of the facility serves to connect the two learning environments, the selection of materials throughout distinguishes the spaces as separate yet symbiotic learning environments. The transparency of the Glasshouse is juxtaposed with the robustness of the colorbond metal cladding of the classrooms where internally, the selective use of plywood in the classrooms is key to softening this exterior. Through this, the architecture maintains a strong presence whilst still sitting comfortably within its precinct environment.

A spacious room filled with tables and chairs, providing ample seating for gatherings or meetings.

Achieving a balanced design

The design has been balanced against Melbourne Polytechnic’s educational ideology, achieving an innovative technical learning environment that balances form, material and function for a compelling outcome.

Exterior of an educational facility design showcasing a spacious glass wall.

Geelong Healthcare Precinct

Location

Norlane, Victoria

Year

2020 – 2023

Services

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

Overview

The Geelong Healthcare Precinct was conceived in response to the local community’s needs for quality medical, dental and childcare services. The brief presented a unique opportunity to create a distinctive piece of architecture and cultural infrastructure for our client that would positively impact the Norlane community.

The project has involved the design and delivery of three buildings: a dental facility (with ground floor café and first floor day surgery facility), a medical clinic and a Montessori childcare centre. Each of the separate elements were designed to complement one another, and to form a new cohesive precinct for health and education.

Unified and distinguished

Inheriting an existing design, we completely reworked the floor plans of each building in close collaboration with the client and specialist consultants. Our response was to create a more consistent and distinguished architectural scheme. While all three buildings offer different functions, it was important for them to speak the same visual language to unify the development as a whole.

Responding to the urban context

Making the most of the highly visible location on a main arterial within a residential neighbourhood, the architecture speaks to its residential surrounds while still creating a distinguished and inviting commercial venue. Welcoming and inviting, the buildings are designed to express an openness through the positioning of various entries, while the internal carpark is positioned to enable use for events outside operating hours, providing a valuable community building initiative.

The roofs of each building are angled down towards the bordering residences and adjacent commercial precinct, highlighted by a distinctive brick materiality that links the precinct back to its surrounding context.

Expressing culture in design

During the design phase, our client introduced us to the principles of Vastu Shastra, an Indian planning and architectural philosophy. These principles were applied from the get go, enabling the precinct to reflect the rich cultural identity of the neighbourhood.

5 Star Green Star Equivalent

The project also incorporates a suite of sustainability initiatives that exceed BCA requirements and achieve equivalent to a 5 Green Star performance. Highlights include:

  • Double glazed external windows to improve the internal environment;
  • Solar panels on the roof;
  • Automated lighting control systems provided to all areas;
  • 80% of products and materials by volume produced or manufactured in Australia;
  • Monitoring strategy to include producing data consumption trends to measure environmental impact of the building;
  • High performance R5.0 insulated roof, underslab insulation, extensive rainwater harvesting and rain gardens to remove pollutants from carpark stormwater runoff.

Making a difference

The outcome of a thriving partnership, this architectural solution demonstrates a real recognition of context and community that will benefit Norlane and the broader City of Greater Geelong for generations to come.

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.

PACCAR Parts Head Office and Warehouse Expansion

Location

Bayswater North, Victoria

Year

2022 – Ongoing

Services

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

Renders

Overview

DS Architects has been working with PACCAR Australia since 1976. This relationship reflects our specialist industrial design knowledge and our ability to manage the expectations of global offices across Australia and the United States of America while delivering projects within live sites.

The scope of the PACCAR Parts Warehouse Extension and Office project included a warehouse extension to the National Parts Distribution Centre, increasing the size from 9,000 to 13,000sqm, together with a new double-storey, 1,600sqm facility for PACCAR Parts’ Australian Head Office.

Working with an International brand

Delivering projects for an international brand means balancing the requirements of their Australian operations with the aesthetic and operational preferences of their American counterparts. To assist collaborations with PACCAR’s Australian and American stakeholders, we developed scale models to effectively communicate the design solution which ultimately aligned with American architectural aesthetics on the exterior and delivered on the Australian team’s operational requirements internally.

Our interior planning involved upgrading a fitout we previously designed in 1985. We interviewed the Australian stakeholders to determine the brief and understand their workflows, adapting the internal layout to their needs.

Navigating complexity

Our team included individuals who have worked on the site for decades. This longevity means we could draw on our strong relationship with the client and proactively problem-solve as issues arose, providing continuity and maintaining a smooth project delivery process.

Enhancing efficiency

Despite the scale of this project and the complex construction logistics involved, we ensured the client could maintain their operations with minimal disruption during construction while significantly improving efficiency and capacity.

Robotics Laboratory

Location

Burwood, Victoria

Year

2017 – 2019

Services

Principal Consultant
Architecture
Contract Administration
Interior Design
Design team management

A vibrant green carpet in a Robotics Laboratory, adding a touch of color to the futuristic design.

Overview

Within Deakin University’s School of Information Technology, the robotics field is recognised as one of the fastest growing industries, attracting a huge increase in enrollments. DS Architects were engaged by Deakin to design a new facility to support the popular Robotics course.

We designed the new facility to support collaboration and innovation and to accommodate 30 students in an environment that, while futuristic and exciting in its appearance, is still highly functional in its use.

A programmable environment

Every element of the space has been considered in relation to supporting learning. Programmable lighting enables users to test their programming skills and affect the ambience of the facility through the lighting. Computer screens are set out so that work being done is visible to all and can be seen by people walking past the facility.

A specially engineered robot arena allows students to test and evaluate their programming of a range of robotic systems, plus a dedicated prototyping workshop enables the production of one-off and small-run designs and the modification and repair of robots.

A modern robotics laboratory with various equipment and workstations for research and development purposes.

A computer-based visual narrative

Long curved benches wind through the space like circuitry, in contrast to typical computer benches. The serpentine form of the joinery is complimented by custom curved overhead LED lighting.

A man and woman working in an office at a Robotics Laboratory, focusing on their tasks.

A futuristic learning environment

The new robotics laboratory is a highly interactive, tech-enabled environment that facilitates innovative thinking, learning and exploration, supporting diverse project-based and research programs.

A vibrant green carpet in a Robotics Laboratory, adding a touch of color to the futuristic design.