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University of Melbourne Announces Architect for Student Precinct

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Lyons Architecture will lead a recently-appointed team of architects to design a new student precinct at the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus.

The team comprises Koning Eizenberg Architects from the USA, Aspect Studios, Breathe Architecture, NMBW Architecture Studio, Greenaway Architects, Glas Urban and Architects EAT.

The precinct, which is being co-created with students, will deliver a new series of student spaces that will include a variety of social spaces, mixed-use retail, food and beverage outlets and increased contemporary study spaces for the whole campus community.

The precinct will encompass nine buildings and bring together the University’s student unions, academic services, and the Institute for Indigenous Development, Murrup Barak, for the first time.

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Melbourne School of Design chair of architectural design and member of the architect selection panel Professor Donald Bates said the University invited five out of 40 applicant teams to present their concept and design.

“The finalists each provided a unique vision for how the University of Melbourne embraces the changing role and experience of education, research and community engagement,” he said.

“The winning team fulfils the ambitious goals of the New Student Precinct process to produce a lasting legacy in the new centre for the campus.”

The University of Melbourne will be holding a “design week” staring 16 March, where the shortlisted teams who submitted for the new student precinct will show their design concepts.

University ‘Funding Freeze’

The university may not be able to celebrate the progress of this project for long, however, if financial challenges get in the way, like the ‘funding freeze’ which was announced last year.

News broke in late 2017 that the federal government would cut a reported $2.2 billion from universities predominantly through a two-year freeze in commonwealth grants funding.

The money has been centred around teaching and learning, where it was proposed that Commonwealth grant scheme funding for bachelor degrees would be frozen in 2018 and 2019, with increases from 2020 onwards subject to performance targets.

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