In an innovative and environmentally-friendly exercise of 'adaptive reuse' that respects its radical origins, La Trobe University is turning some of its earliest campus buildings into state-of-the-art 21st century learning facilities.
Kane worked closely with Johnstaff Projects, Spowers Achitects, Bonacci Group, Prowse, Lehr Consultants and Gardner Group to deliver the $13 million adaptive reuse project.
The project incorporate the latest in materials, technology and educational and environmental design, transforming the brown brick and concrete interiors of a former science building at the heart of the campus into a bright high-tech collaborative learning and social space.
Renamed The Learning Commons (TLC) and formally known as The Physical Sciences 3 (PS3), the four-level 4,000 square metre building features 16 modern 40-seat collaborative learning spaces with high speed wi-fi, pod-like tables and multi-panel video screens, as well as two 100-seat ultra modern lecture theatres.
There is also an abundance of high-gloss writing surfaces to encourage informal learning and collective brainstorming and discussion.
As well as an area where La Trobe students study, work, research and socialise in a vibrant environment, the new TLC building also has a wider community and industry function.
There are two interactive 'out-reach' facilities – a science lab and collaborative teaching space – designed for senior secondary school students to expand their skills and horizons before progressing to university.
There is also a showcase area for industry events, to strengthen links between student and employers.
Re-use of old buildings means a smaller carbon footprint for the University, compared with new construction. Air-conditioning, as well as electricity, hot water and heating are all provided by the University's six megawatt natural gas-fired co-generation plant.
Kane are proud to have worked with La Trobe University on a series of projects prior to The Learning Commons.
Projects include our highly commended $35M Sylvia Walton Building,$15M University Health Sciences, $33M University Clinical Teaching and our recently completed Reid Building Adaptive Re-use Enabling Works and recently won $18.5M Reid Building Main Works.
The project reached practical completion in May 2015 and was delivered on time and within the clients budget.