The University of New South Wales faced a stark choice when it came to this 1960s building at the centre of their eastern Sydney campus.
Should they renovate – or detonate?
On the one hand, the Electrical Engineering Building (EEB) had good bones and sentimental appeal as the original home of one of Australia's top engineering schools.
But the building was also a little stuck in time. It didn't have the infrastructure or spaces to support the latest teaching and research methods in the field, or the design to truly connect the building and its users to surrounding areas of the campus.
In the end, the university decided to bring the past into the future with the help of Hassell’s design team.
A thoughtful revival turned the EEB into a more adaptable and sustainable building for the next generation of engineers – a lively, hard-working place that’s 'engineered' for the inevitable changes to come over the next 40 years.
The building has an additional 10% floor area efficiency, much more natural daylight and a lower environmental footprint, including through generating renewable energy. Its state-of-the-art teaching, learning and research spaces include Australia's first quantum engineering teaching lab and the country's largest lab for research paving the way for electric vehicles and other energy-efficient innovations.
The EEB also has an amphitheatre for informal outdoor learning, an accessible rooftop for students and staff, and roomy bay windows and arcades that open up the building's outdated interiors.
Now this 60s classic is really earning its place at one of the critical junctions on campus.