Michael Kirby Building Macquarie University

The upcycled Michael Kirby Building brings a new, revitalised energy to the heart of Macquarie University’s Wallumattagal Campus and creates an enduring legacy with flexibility to cater to future changes.

As the new home of Macquarie University Law School, the Department of Philosophy and a resource for the wider campus, the Michael Kirby Building — named after the Australian jurist and the institution’s first Emeritus Chancellor — has brought the University’s vision for a new learning destination to life.

The adaptive reuse of an existing ground and first-floor concrete structure has transformed the 1985-built administration centre into a more expansive and flexible four-storey building featuring a lighter, timber-framed structural system and glazed façade.

Formerly an under-utilised external courtyard, the building’s new naturally ventilated top-lit atrium creates a sense of openness and interconnectivity, promotes a sense of wellbeing and houses various indoor and outdoor gathering spaces that encourage interaction and the exchange of ideas.

The building features state-of-the-art independent and interdisciplinary educational, workplace and research spaces and a suspended moot court (a mock court for the practice and training of law students) over the main entry. The court ─ and the greater building ─ reaffirms Macquarie University Law School’s reputation as a respected international contender in the legal space.

Our expansive, transparent design fosters a culture of collaboration and innovation among staff, students, alums, researchers, and industry partners. Internal spaces are designed at various scales for adaptable use over time, addressing the University’s evolving needs.

A vibrant new focal point for the Wallumattagal Campus, the Michael Kirby Building optimises its prominent site on the major thoroughfare of Wally’s Walk via a new translucent glazed façade, which directly connects the interior of the building to a well-established external tree canopy and surrounding public spaces.


Macquarie University


Dharug Country
Sydney, Australia





Sustainability Ratings

5 Star Green Star rating (Design & As Built v1.3)


8,500 sqm


FDC, Turner & Townsend, TTW, Arup, Blackett Maguire + Goldsmith, Holmes Fire, iAccess, Wilde & Woollard, Northrop, Acoustic Logic, Ethos Urban, Aspect, Concept AV, Brandculture

Design team

Kevin Lloyd, Michael White, Alex Gurman, Joe Murray, Kevin Chuang, David Whittaker, Hannah Woof


Nicole England

“We hope this new space inspires, energises and excites our students and scholars to be part of the future of the arts, humanities and social sciences.”

Professor Chris Dixon, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie University
  • The adaptive reuse of the existing ground and first-floor concrete structure reduces carbon emissions and extends the life of the building well into the future. 
  • Energy efficiency and air quality are enhanced through natural passive ventilation in the building’s atrium and connected circulation spaces.
  • The exposed cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure, which is void of applied finishes, reduces carbon emissions.
  • The sawtooth roofing with south-facing roof lights minimises electrical lighting requirements and solar heat gain. 
  • The building is connected to the campus-wide central energy and chilled water network, reducing the need for individual equipment.

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