PROJECTS > EDUCATION
W5A COURTYARD UPGRADE
Location: Macquarie University
Client: Macquarie University
Project dates: 2016
The W5A Courtyard is located on the western edge of the Macquarie University Campus, adjacent to the main pedestrian path. Located between two lecture theatres, the courtyard is poorly used, and the combination of surface materials and the concrete building façades has created a stark, uninviting place. The project brief was to redesign the space to provide an attractive area for students to gather. Two large plane trees are the central feature of the space.
A concept design based on the idea of the living room was developed; with an emphasis on comfort, relaxation, and refuge. Three defining elements shape the design;
- Rug: A surface to unify the space, emphasise the courtyard’s room like quality and define circulation.
- Rooms: Within the rug, smaller spaces are created, to provide places of rest and relaxation.
- Thread: An elevated lightweight element that provides infrastructure over the courtyard including lighting.
Mass planting of evergreen groundcovers provides a ‘green rug’ under the plane trees. A series of elevated steel platforms, with seating in varying configurations provides spaces for study and gathering. These raised platforms provide a dual purpose; protecting tree roots from soil compaction, as well as defining the boundaries between movement and rest. Seats are designed for individuals and small groups. Colour is employed to create a rich visual landscape; the red elevated platforms are designed to be viewed against the backdrop of deep green groundcovers and established plane trees.