New buildings scoop architecture awards

The Biomedical Learning and Teaching Building.
The Biomedical Learning and Teaching Building.

Monash has received top honours from the architecture industry for two recently opened buildings: the Biomedical Learning and Teaching Building at Clayton campus and Gillies Hall at Peninsula campus.

The Biomedical Learning and Teaching Building (BLTB), designed in partnership with Denton Corker Marshall, won the Educational Architecture category of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) awards in Victoria. Gillies Hall, designed in partnership with Jackson Clement Burrows Architects, was awarded gold in the Architecture – Multi Residential – Constructed category at the 2019 Melbourne Design Awards.

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO said these recent awards were formal recognition of the high-quality new spaces Monash has opened to students and staff this year.

“We are extremely proud that these two new developments, the Biomedical Learning and Teaching Building and Gillies Hall, have been recognised for their excellence in design and architecture. They truly are innovative buildings, and will play an important role in enabling Monash to deliver high-quality experiences in learning, teaching and research for our students and staff,” Professor Gardner said.

Professor John Carroll, Director of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, said the BLTB’s award for educational architecture recognised the building’s innovative design and strong connection to its purpose.

“This state-of-the-art building was designed to offer space for students to collaborate and for our academics to train the next generation of scientists and doctors,” Professor Carroll said.

Wojciech Pluta, Senior Director of Denton Corker Marshall, said the firm was proud of what it had achieved together with Monash.

"As the industry’s most highly regarded design awards, we were honoured to accept the prize on behalf of the entire project team, particularly Monash University. We believe it signifies the collaborative effort and hard work of all stakeholders involved,” Mr Pluta said.

The striking five-level BLTB contains four ‘flexi labs’ – adaptive learning environments each accommodating 240 students, with world-leading AV speaker and video technology, enabling interdisciplinary sharing of spaces and ideas.

One of the teaching labs is built to Physical Containment Level 2 (PC2), a biomedical safety level that ensures the containment of biological agents, and the safety of staff, students and the environment. Built and designed to achieve a five-star rating on the Green Star Design and Build rating scale, the BLTB will soon become Monash’s first all electric building.

Gillies Hall, named after Monash alumnus and prominent Australian political satirist, actor and director Dr Max Gillies AM, provides residents with a range of high-quality, sustainable living spaces.

The building is the most energy-efficient building Monash has delivered, a benchmark in sustainable development as the largest commercial Passive House building in Australia. Students moved into the 150-bed accommodation facility in February this year.

Bradley Williamson, Executive Director, Buildings and Property Division at Monash, said the recent win from the 2019 Melbourne Design Awards signifies a major accomplishment in design, contributing to a thriving campus community.

“Gillies Hall provides a range of modern, high-quality residential spaces that are unique to Monash Peninsula, enabling students from around the world to connect, belong and collaborate in a welcoming and supported environment,” Mr Williamson said.

“We’re particularly proud of the pioneering design agendas combined through Gillies Hall, and the resulting environmental benefits of the project, which is a benchmark in sustainable development.”

Both the BLTB and Gillies Hall are designed to play an integral role in the University’s commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

This article first appeared in The Insider.

About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the newly established Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery.