Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Melbourne University School of Engineering

This morning I was shown around the refurbished spaces in the School of Engineering by Brian Shirriffs, Senior Project Manager.
These spaces offered many challenges but Brian and his team have done a good job. I will post some pics below and hopefully Brian will  add comments.
Two things that stood out for me was the way the project used appropriate lighting not only in the labs but also in the corridors leading to the labs. I was also impressed by the way  any opportunity to make use of what is outside to the benefit of the ambiance of those inside was seized upon.
This room has 3 sets of 2 rows of seats. Each set of 2 rows are at the same height allowing fro the front row of each set to turn and work with the row behind. This requires adequate turning space.

This room has tables with two computers on each. The content of each computer can be displayed centrally.
Pic 3
This is a group study space used by small groups. Note that the layout is simple and there is minimal technology but enough

Pic 4
This is a small courtyard just out side  a teaching space which students use to chill out and perhaps discuss topics.

Pic 5
This space was adjacent to some labs and teaching spaces and used as a communal area. Brian had noted that because the furniture is mobile students move the furniture they prefer to the location they prefer. This makes it a dynamic space but annoys the architects because it is not what they planned. Surely they miss the point which is that funcionality is more importnat than form.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nigel,

    This is all very interesting!! I hope Brian is well.

    Picture 1 is interesting, we are trying to develop an interactive lecture theatre such as this, but our fire officers are not allowing us to use loose chairs, especially on the tiers above ground level. I also notice that all the the writing benches are the same depth, but sure alternate benches need to be much wider to accommodate the papers/laptops/resources etc that the student turning around will bring with him/her?

    The table shapes in picture 2 are very nice, can you send more photos please?

    I love picture 3, a piece of art when not in use as a teaching room!!

    Picture 5, surely the architects should now be busy on other projects than bothering about nomadic furniture!!

    Looking forward to the next installment



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