UNSW Biological Sciences

UNSW Biological Sciences, Woods Bagot

Providing a new campus gateway, the significantly renovated existing building (North building) and companion addition (South building) blend seamlessy into a cohesive whole, inside and out. The buildings provides active social spaces, breaking down silos within departments and encouraging both planned and unplanned interactions.

The resulting design provides a delicate balance of form and function, creating an important link in the university’s Biomendical Precinct. The refurbished North and new South buildings respond to adjacent existing laboratory buildings through mass, scale, colours, and floor to floor alignment with bridge connections, creating a truly linked precinct.

The atrium provides a connecting element between the two buildings, enabling them to be experienced as ‘one facility’ while allowing connectivity via transparency into the surrounding workplace and laboratories. The building’s internal planning promotes collaboration and interdisciplinary teamwork – honouring the university’s goal to attract global talent and thinking.

To achieve this goal, the design incorporates a number of active collision spaces. A distribution of key teaching and research spaces throughout the building is paralleled to the synergy of key social spaces. The deliberate framing of the spatial distribution creates two primary social hubs, delineating both private and invited spaces and encouraging movement vertically within the building. The buildings provide both formal and informal learning spaces that address current trends of Science on Display, transparency, and interdisciplinary, collaborative, active learning.