The sheltered entry plaza establishes the setting for a relaxed, student-friendly atmosphere. Lush, mature planting brings shade while cool sandstone terraces and small gathering nooks invite students to linger longer. There is a civic quality that balances robust materials with a sense of openness and connection that is in step with the “never turn a student away” philosophy of the services on offer.
Inside, hardwearing materials like timbers, terrazzo and finger mosaic tiles emphasise contemporary comfort and visual quiet. Fabric-lined booths, leather-clad window seats and scattered planting layer a domestic sensibility and deepen the immersive calm. The quality of finishes and the sophisticated composition of rooms and spaces brings dignity to the services and all who seek them.
“We wanted UQ Student Central to be a place where students would choose to go and spend time.”
— Principal Lucy O’Driscoll
UQ Student Central demonstrates the value of adaptive reuse of existing buildings to repair and reimagine campus environments and dramatically improve the quality of the campus experience.
By interrogating the brief, Hassell demonstrated the value of moving a significant portion of services to outdoor spaces. This resulted in a flexible outdoor plaza that can expand and contract according to the academic calendar, and which ultimately consumes minimal energy by virtue of daylit spaces and passive cooling.
The project champions the role of landscape and the power of open spaces to establish cool, calm and connected environments in subtropical climates.
Our indoor and outdoor spaces created for UQ Student Central positively impact the wellbeing of students through both the experience and services they offer.
2023 AIA Queensland Awards: Interior Architecture Commendation
2023 AIA Queensland Awards: Honorary Commendation for Social Inclusion
“Student Central is a bright and welcoming space that normalises its student welfare and counselling services. Frameless glazed doors provide seamless connection between the outdoor terrace and the quieter support spaces within.
“Sandstone and timber reflect the familiar University of Queensland surroundings while the sumptuous addition of gold is both eye-catching and celebratory. The flowing interior provides cleverly layered zones of calm and privacy, conceived as ‘rooms within a room’, supporting psychological wellbeing as well as respecting cultural preferences.
“This project upholds a new model of care and develops a strong visual brand for Student Services at UQ.”
— AIA Queensland State Awards Jury