University Square Melbourne

The Square generated a new public face for the University

The University Square project represented the University of Melbourne adding a further thirty percent teaching and academic staff facilities to the main city campus. Central to the development was the removal of over three hundred surface car parking spaces from the main campus coupled with a large re pedestrianisation program of the University. The main focus of the redevelopment was the creation of a public plaza space at the former Carlton Bowling Club site. Below the plaza is a large multi leveled underground car park for use by students and staff of the University. Central to the plaza's design was to restore a lost link between the nineteenth century heritage listed Carlton Square Park and the central University spine that runs throughout the campus in a North - South axis. Massive "on deck" planters accommodate mature bosque plantings of Crab Apples and Chinese fir trees. A stylized pergola raps the street frontages of the plaza and is clad with flowering purple wisteria. The wisteria is a strong iconic feature of the Universities cloister and courtyard spaces. A series of large proportioned stairs and ramps provide simple, free access to the plaza. The space is used extensively for public functions and is a very active pedestrian movement corridor throughout the year. Two large stairwells and associated mechanical lifts and air vents are located as central focal structures defining the plaza. They also facilitate the movement of thousands of pedestrians between the street level and car park, daily.

Date: 
2003
Location: 
Melbourne VIC
Architect: 
Metier 3
Designer: 
Paterson + Pettus P/L
Photographer: 
Peter Bennetts
Client: 
Grocon and The University of Melbourne
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