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Architecture: UQ School of Veterinary Science

Feb 6, 2011
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Photography by John Gollings
  • Designer
  • Architect Architectus

This new project consolidates the University of Queensland’s animal research groups from St Lucia to the rural Gatton Campus. The school now houses the most comprehensive facilities of its kind in Australia, linking the university to local and regional communities.

The project comprises four new buildings and the reuse of an existing building. The siting strategy locates the project between the rural and civic spaces of the site, linking the civic precinct with the rural landscape on the campus fringe. The Veterinary School itself is situated off the civic precinct, organising a set of well-scaled courtyards around it that are in keeping with adjacent buildings and spaces.

The Veterinary Teaching Laboratories are situated on the outer rural edge, making a screened forecourt that connects back into the campus while also providing connection into the larger landscape beyond. The new Veterinary Medical Centre, near the northern entry to the campus, creates a new ‘front door’ to the campus.

The project creates a clear identity for the school within the campus. The new facilities are connected by landscaped links, throughfare courtyards and other outdoor spaces, as well as a common architectural language for the new buildings. The language acknowledges the existing landscape and its built forms, as well as the historic use of building materials on the site including low brick buildings and framed shed constructions. In an echo of previous construction, the bases of the new buildings appear as brick plinths with transparent and lightweight structures perched above. Variations on this palette of materials and their deployment through the school’s separate facilities provide a dynamic and engaging continuity between them.

*Team* Architectus with Specialist Laboratory Architects, S2F

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