University of Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay

  • area / size 122,514 sqft
  • Completed 2020
  • Location Brisbane, Australia,
  • HASSELL designed the new campus for the University of Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay in Brisbane, Australia.

    One of Australia’s fastest growing regions, Moreton Bay, looks set to reverse its trend of low university participation now that USC has officially opened the Foundation Building of its new Moreton Bay campus – designed by Hassell.

    Enrollments for the first semester have already exceeded expectations across the 50 undergraduate programs in a region where less than 20% of young adults have a degree. Student numbers are planned to grow to 10,000 students by 2030, so the full-service campus at Petrie is designed to be flexible for growth and to adapt to changing teaching and learning methods.

    Hassell’s multi-disciplinary team worked with the University to master plan the new campus as well as design the architecture, interiors and landscape for the Foundation Building. The team set out to create the best experience for all kinds of students in disciplines and degrees ranging from mechatronics, environmental science, health, engineering, law and business.

    Accordingly, this is a high-tech, smart campus that accommodates the latest problem-based learning supported by cutting-edge, pervasive audio-visual technology. It’s equipped with extensive hands-on learning spaces for nursing, science and engineering, including a 64-person nursing simulation suite. There’s also a 120-seat ‘Wet Super Lab’ for sciences, an equal-sized ‘Dry Super Lab’ for engineering, and specialist areas for robotics, thermodynamics, advanced manufacturing, and civil engineering together with a mechanical workshop and a maker space.

    The core of the campus is the ‘Rise’ – a central, stepped, two-storey amphitheatre that encourages collaboration and incidental meetings throughout the day alongside the 24-hour library. The Rise is complemented by a diverse range of informal learning settings, from intimate booths to project spaces to brainstorming whiteboard settings.

    Harnessing Queensland’s sub-tropical climate, Hassell designed the Foundation Building to operate efficiently, through the use of solar power, deep overhanging roofs and sun shading. Hansen Yuncken, the builders for the project, brought their expertise in building on the Australian landscape.

    Hassell Principal and Education & Science Sector Leader, Mark Roehrs, said that the USC Moreton Bay campus welcomes the local community just as much as its students.

    Architect: HASSELL
    Photography: Tom Ross