Swinburne University of Technology has engaged leading architect and design firm Architectus to co-create with students to bring the new Campus Heart to life.
The multi-storey development will become a student-focused learning and social engine at our Hawthorn campus, featuring collaborative and hybrid work and event spaces.
Campus Heart is the centrepiece of our next gen_campus revitalisation – eight transformative projects across the Hawthorn, Wantirna and Croydon campuses that will transform our physical environment and deliver a better student experience
Swinburne students and staff participate in a workshop to co-create Campus Heart with leading architecture firm Architectus. Credit: Marcus Lee.
Our learning and social engine
Campus Heart will feature co-working and digital hybrid workspaces for students to study solo or in groups, as well as informal meeting spaces and covered outdoor areas to connect and interact with each other.
Event spaces will provide capacity to host Swinburne's extensive calendar of engagement and advancement events on campus.
The new development will be constructed between the Library and BA buildings.
Swinburne Chief Operations Officer Nancy Collins said Campus Heart will elevate what is already a central precinct for student activity.
“This area is the heart of our campus for students, and being adjacent to the library makes it a natural gathering place,” she said.
“Uplifting the space and enhancing its offerings will ensure it remains a place our students can enjoy and be proud of for decades to come, strengthening our campus identity as a place of technology and innovation”.
“Providing mixed use options – solo use, small-scale collaboration and larger-scale events – will give our students even more options for the way they can interact and engage on campus.”
Sustainability will be a key focus for Campus Heart, as Swinburne advances our commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2025.
“In addition to reducing waste, sustainable procurement, and green travel, our next gen_campus projects present the opportunity to improve the efficiency of our buildings,” Nancy said.
“During the co-creation process, we’re looking forward to hearing next gen_ideas from students on ways to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, lower waste, and create a productive, healthy, and sustainable environment.”
Swinburne students co-creating Campus Heart at the first of many workshops to be held throughout the design process. Credit: Marcus Lee.
Co-creating to enrich the campus experience
Architectus Group Director, Communities and Principal, Mark van den Enden said the vision for Campus Heart was a ‘magnetic’ environment, drawing students in to enrich the campus experience through collaborative learning opportunities and social connectedness.
While co-creating with students, Architectus will consider the health and wellbeing of students, staff and visitors through generous amenity, leading environmentally sustainable design strategies, and an expansive and improved public realm.
“The new spaces will facilitate a deep sense of belonging where students and staff can network, partner, and learn from each other,” Mark said.
“Campus Heart will be an urban and learning connector that will foster an engaged student community and staff cohort.
“This project presents an incredible opportunity to reimagine a dense urban campus.
“Our concept will embody Swinburne’s vision of people and technology working together to build a better world and prepare for a digital tech-rich future.”
Months of collaboration between Swinburne students and staff culminated in striking designs for the new Latelab and student hub
New Latelab and student hub
To make way for Campus Heart, the Latelab study space that currently occupies the site will be reimagined in co-creation with our students and move to the nearby 27 John St building, adjacent to the Advanced Technology Centre (ATC) building .
The new Latelab and student hub will increase the 24-hour, secure space for students to study and interact on campus, offering a variety of solo and group study spaces to suit the needs of our diverse student community.
While currently occupying a single floor below the Atrium, the new student hub will feature four floors and include a student kitchen and outdoor space.
Design for the new Latelab is underway, in collaboration with our students and Kosloff Architecture.
The designs and business case will be presented to the University’s Council, Swinburne’s governing body, for approval in late 2023.
Where approved, the facility is expected to be ready for students in early 2025, when construction on Campus Heart will begin.
Collaborating with students
The next gen_campus vision has students at its core and will be developed in collaboration with our diverse student community.
All eight projects will reflect student expectations for an on-campus experience, considering their needs and priorities for how they will use these facilities and spaces to work, study and interact with each other.
Swinburne Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education, Experience and Employability, Professor Pip Pattison said students will be invited to get involved in developing Campus Heart in coming months.
“Student collaboration is the focus for Campus Heart right from the beginning,” she said.
“Building on the work that has already been done on the new Latelab, we will be hosting a series of workshops, forums, surveys, and much more to ensure this is a space that will elevate and enhance the Swinburne student experience.”
Swinburne’s collaborative approach to next gen_campus also presents unique opportunities to create curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students, embodying Swinburne’s commitment to work integrated learning and real industry experience to produce job-ready graduates.
“Particularly for our students studying design, engineering, building construction and related disciplines, Campus Heart and other next gen_campus projects will give them a front row seat to experience and learn through the entire development process,” Professor Pattison said.
“These opportunities at both a vocational and higher education level are the very essence of what Swinburne strives for – hands-on learning that prepares students for dynamic and fulfilling careers after they graduate.”