University of Queensland Advanced Engineering Building

Brisbane
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Photo © Peter Bennetts
Architects
HASSELL
Location
Brisbane
Year
2013
Client
University of Queensland
Joint Venture
Richard Kirk Architect

The Advanced Engineering Building (AEB) gives students an immediate advantage. It gives them a world-class, research-led education in a building that’s a subject for study in its own right.

University of Queensland's Engineering Faculty wanted a building that would set it apart and boost its global engineering status.

So we gave it a building that was also a cutting-edge sustainable engineering learning tool. We included a range of ground-breaking features to create an open, collaborative learning environment that connects students, researchers and industry.

The innovative design puts the structure of the building on show, giving students a 'live learning' environment.

We deliberately exposed concrete,steel and timber components, and the structural loads and stresses can also be monitored in real time.

The AEB makes the most of the unique sub-tropical Queensland climate to be as energy and water efficient as possible – with an aim to reduce energy use by an estimated 70%. Features include systems to pre-cool the building's air, multimode ventilation systems and extensive external shading. The building displays its self-managed energy output, water consumption and waste production on screens around the building.

Our use of local mixed hardwoods underpinned our sustainability initiatives and led to the most striking feature of the building – the auditorium’s exposed 220-tonne timber truss roof. Using timber instead of steel was an ambitious move that created an ambient, acoustically-sound environment to further transform the student learning experience.

UQ wanted a building that would encourage teachers, students and research staff to work across disciplines to solve complex problems.

Our open design has the atrium at its heart, allowing students to access all levels and to interact and collaborate with staff, researchers and visitors. By putting the research labs on show, the university emphasises its hands-on learning focus and reveals the impressive resources and the successful, innovative and highly visual collaborations.

The AEB was a joint venture between Richard Kirk Architect and HASSELL. It won the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture at the 2014 Australian National Architecture Awards.

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