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Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation

© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects

Architects: Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
Location: 136 Herring Road, North Ryde NSW 2113, Australia
Area: 2546.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Allen Jack+Cottier Architects

Director: Glynn Evans
Director Da: Mark Louw
Design Architect / Director Post Da: Scott Norton
Project Architect / Superintendent: Matt McNeil
Architectural Assistant: David Haire
Specification: Mark Corbet
Structural : SDA Associates
Mechanical, Electrical, Environmental : VOS Group
Hydraulic: Sparks & Partners
Planner : JBA Planning
Acoustic : Vipac
Builder: Grindley
Total Project Cost: $9.2m

Ground Floor Plan

From the architect. The new student accommodation building at Robert Menzies College (RMC) is a contemporary symbol of the college’s identity, on the expanding Macquarie University campus. It represents the brand, culture and function of RMC and reinforces the college’s interactive, supportive and social emphasis.

© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects

Macquarie University’s need for student housing has increased exponentially in the last couple of years, with demand exceeding supply. The new building at RMC includes 104 new bedrooms, seminar rooms and common room areas for senior undergraduates, post-graduate and doctoral students; and communal outdoor recreation space and conference facilities for use by the greater community.

© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects

It is an infill development which seeks to complete the fabric of the existing college at RMC. Architectural references have been made to the robust materials and textures of the existing buildings, such as face brick, off-form concrete and terracotta cladding. The building also picks up on elements of form, such as the vertical windows of the dining hall and the modulated blocks of the accommodation buildings.

© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects

The building is divided into two wings, connected lightly by a glazed bridge element. The south wing addresses and contains the new active courtyard space, and expresses the identity of the college community in a vibrant and dynamic way. It is the public face of the college and has a bold visual presence along Waterloo Road, contributing to the entry statement of the Macquarie University campus. The north wing expresses a more practical and robust purpose, referencing the masonry elements of the existing accommodation buildings.

© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects

The college aimed to increase their accommodation capacity as much as possible within a relatively tight budget that was defined at the outset. This required rigorous cost management by the team during design, documentation and construction. The regular and modular plan, rationalised load bearing structure and conventional construction techniques were aimed at less specialised builders and trades. Equally, ongoing lifecycle costs were to be minimized, so robust materials requiring little or no maintenance such as face brick and concrete block were specified.

© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects

The building was conceived with passive solar principles in mind and provides custom sunshading elements, cross ventilation to all common areas and corridors, insulated facades and thermal mass. Automatically controlled and timed lighting, mechanical ventilation and air-conditioning are used in common areas to reduce energy wastage. Although no air conditioning was provided to the accommodation rooms, the occupants have been completely comfortable, even in the extremes of summer. Rainwater is harvested in a large underground tank for irrigation of the landscaped areas of the campus, and gas water heaters and appliances.

Elevations: East, West

While the building sits well stylistically with the existing buildings on the site, its design distinguishes it from the accommodation provided for the under-graduates currently housed at the college and provides the new branding element that the college desired. Already, the amenities and contemporary appeal have contributed to record student intake when compared to neighbouring colleges.

Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects © Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects © Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects © Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects

Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects © Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects © Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects © Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects

Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects © Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects © Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects © Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects

Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects © Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
© Allen Jack+Cottier Architects
Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects Site Plan
Site Plan
Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects Ground Floor Plan
Ground Floor Plan

Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects Floor Plan 2
Floor Plan 2
Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects Floor Plan 3
Floor Plan 3
Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects Floor Plan 4
Floor Plan 4

Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects Floor Plan 5
Floor Plan 5
Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects Roof Plan
Roof Plan
Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects Elevations: North, South
Elevations: North, South

Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation  / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects Elevations: East, West
Elevations: East, West

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Robert Menzies College Student Accommodation / Allen Jack+Cottier Architects" 20 Feb 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 20 Feb 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=477472>
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