Mark Broomfield, Director of Property, Macquarie University
Macquarie University Incubator
Macquarie Park, NSW
Built, July 2017
The Macquarie University Incubator was designed to respond to the diverse and changing needs of its occupants, as well as two key aspects that informed the design of the space; a relocatable building and a short time frame for its implementation.
Timber was selected as the main construction material for its capacity to be beautifully engineered, swiftly fabricated to high quality, and for its potential for future dis-assembly and relocation, with the majority of components prefabricated offsite to ensure rapid construction on site and minimal disruption to the concurrent university semester. The resulting building was completed within five months of construction commencing.
A harmonious palette of materials creates a sequence of spaces that are tactile and characteristically warm. Various timber species were used throughout, including a ceiling diaphragm of cross laminated timber, large span laminated veneer lumber beams and glulam V columns, as well as spotted gum hardwood and cork for the interior floor surfaces, and plywood for the external walls. Working with partners including Lipman and StrongBuild, these materials allowed us to take an innovative approach to design, while offering potential for a very high degree of reuse should the building ever be relocated.
The Incubator was conceived as a pair of pavilions, each with flexible layouts that lend themselves to the future adaptations and functions of the start-ups inside.
A strong driver was the need for collaboration and interaction between individual start-ups and with each other, in addition to privacy for each start-up to operate as its own business. With this in mind, we created open spaces and breakout areas, and smaller, private meeting rooms.
Design competition winner
Master Builders Association of NSW Excellence in Construction Awards, Tertiary Buildings up to $10m, 2018
Australian Institute of Architects (AIA), National Architecture Award for Education, 2018
Australian Institute of Architects (AIA), National Sustainability Awards, Education & Research, 2018
The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, The International Architecture Award, 2018
Australian Institute of Architects (NSW), William E Kemp Award for Educational Architecture, 2018
Australian Institute of Architects (NSW), Sustainable Architecture – Commendation, 2018
INDE.Awards, The Learning Space, 2018
Learning Environments Australasia, Annual Excellence in Educational Facilities Awards Overall Winner, 2018
Australian Timber Design Awards, Excellence
in Timber Design – Innovative Structural Design Award, 2018
Good Design Awards®, Architectural
Chicago Athenaeum, Green GOOD DESIGN™ Research and Technology, 2018
Association of Consulting Structural Engineers NSW, Medium Building Projects Award, 2018