Griffith University (G11) Learning Commons

Project Details

ThomsonAdsett - Graham Legerton & Chad Brown

Winner Category 3 - Renovation Over $2M

G11, Griffith University Gold Coast Campus, University Drive, Gold Coast Southport, Queensland 4215 Australia

Graham Legerton


Angus Martin

Project Overview

G11 prioritises student, staff and visitor needs providing experimental collaborative spaces, a learning "aviary" landscape, shard meeting room, blended seminar rooms, study hall and sky lounge. Such spaces offer choice of learning environments internally and externally. A highly permeable design promotes a learning commons of environmental, social and cultural significance.

Griffith University’s new Learning Commons is underpinned by choice, experimentation and serendipity.

Socialisation of space and creation of a distinctive hub were key brief requirements. Our response triangulated the existing building, enhancing collaboration, maximising presence on University Drive, reducing travel and framing an inner garden. New and existing space becomes one, revitalising a tired existing asset, maximising residual value and promoting sustainable design practices. The use of the Griffith red addresses the requirement for cohesion to brand.

The 100sq.m collaborative space requirement was surpassed with a 300sq.m external feature space. This volume accommodates multiple functionalities in a highly prominent campus location such as markets, open days, enrolments, meetings, filming and serendipitous collaborations. The building is highly permeable in terms of planning and aesthetics to maximise outreach and engagement.

The design was ‘layered’ to address the social, reflective and support spaces required by the brief, with the formality and acoustic control increasing as you travel up through the building. Outdoor learning environments extend the 4500sq.m internal space to 7,000s.qm, ensuring students benefit from breezes, variable learning settings, views, light and amenity.

Students now have a hub space – space to meet, share and study in person or collaboratively, internally and externally. The building promotes inter-professional learning. Increased collaboration, 24/7 use, collocation of staff, bookable spaces of multiple scales and assists the high demand for additional social space and quiet space.

The place making of the sky lounge, ‘aviary’ garden and shard spaces facilitate a diversity of learning modalities and choice of setting for different educational processes. The building provides spaces to foster relationships and is intentionally not faculty specific. It is inclusive and responsive to changing study patterns of the modern day student.

Agile planning of seminar rooms enables rooms to blend with adjacent covered external space such as the sky lounge creating bookable and inspiring lecture spaces. The study hall was created by combining the area allocated to a seminar room and lap top lounge. Art, colour, vibrant furnishings and ease of connectivity have combined to make this a successful 24/7 space.

This page last updated: Thursday 3 April 2014