New Teaching Facilities for UniSA at Mt Gambier

UniSA_Mt_Gambier_002Construction has commenced on UniSA’s new teaching building at Mt Gambier in a joint project with Russell & Yelland and Guida Moseley Brown Architects.

Located on the TAFE campus, the $12.5m project will allow the expansion of university courses including nursing, social work, education and Foundation Studies, at this important regional hub.

Working with education Consultant, Julia Atkin, we analysed the brief and looked at trends in primary, secondary and tertiary education. As well as general and specialised teaching spaces we looked at how a shared breakout zone could act as the heart of the new building.

Rather than call it a “learning hub”, we suggested the term “piazza” – more often used in Reggio-inspired early childhood centres, to denote an interactive social space for group activity.

Recently Julia led a seminar involving key university teaching and learning and IT experts. This explored future trends in the use of computing in education, with particular reference to the specific needs of a regional campus. This has led to a further rethinking of areas such as computer pools – and another discussion on how to name the spaces.

The new facility includes collaborative learning spaces with high-level IT and AV fitout. Simulation areas for social work where students undertaking counselling training can be watched through one-way glass and take their videoed sessions home to analyse. Nursing students will learn in replicas of the new RAH wards, a typical single and multi-bed ward, and a birthing suite.

Russell & Yelland’s project architect, Craig Buckberry, has led the design review process for internal specialist areas using 2D and 3D information direct from our REVIT documentation model – something the client group has found extremely useful.

He is also trialling the use of Autodesk GLUE, a web-based 3D review tool which allows consultants and the client almost real-time access to the Building Information Model. This has proved extremely useful in the detailed coordination of the integrated architectural, structural and services BIM models.

“Instead of waiting a week for everyone to upload and integrate the models, I can see what’s happening every day” said Craig. “This reduces rework and misunderstandings”.

The project is due to open in 2016.