THE University of Newcastle’s futuristic NeW Space building has opened its doors, two years after construction began on what is one of the most eye-catching landmarks on the city’s skyline.
Hansen Yuncken was awarded the $95 million NeW Space project for the Faculty of Business and Law by the University of Newcastle in April 2015. The project, UoN’s 'City Campus' is fundamental to the Hunter Education Precinct in the Newcastle CBD; and is regarded as a ‘landmark’ project within the city of Newcastle.
Achieving a 5 Star Green Star design, the technically challenging eight storey structure offers a cutting edge modern environment, with a focus on flexibility and collaborative teaching and learning. A mixture of formal and informal spaces have been specifically designed to align with the University’s teaching pedagogies.
With over 20 projects delivered for the University of Newcastle to date, Hansen Yuncken won the project by competitive tender after a three stage, nine-month tender process, engaging with stakeholders to evolve a complex design simultaneously with construction.
Breaking ground in May 2015, a number of alternative construction methods were adopted to address environmental complexities as well as technical and sophisticated design features. These included residual mine subsidence ground strain, a high water table and both Aboriginal and European heritage constraints. The challenges in the structure were evident in the widely publicised 85 tonne “mega truss” lift in April 2016 where a prefabricated steel frame was lifted into position to create the University’s prime architectural feature, the Nobbys Extension.
From the outset, construction remained on program, through numerous client driven changes and challenging construction activities. The team’s safety records have been second to none, with no Lost Time Injuries occurring over the two-year journey which involved over 600,000 working hours on the site. Added to that, the University are very pleased with the quality and delivery of this incredibly complex build.
Ahead of the next semester, NeW Space has opened its doors, welcoming staff and faculty, local business owners, government officials and international representatives to tour this vibrant and nation leading educational facility.