La Trobe University
Client: La Trobe University
Spowers have enjoyed a long history working with La Trobe University, first delivering the Health Sciences series of buildings in the 90’s. The lecture theater spaces from this project are still regarded as one of the highest utilised spaces on campus. Through more strategic roles over the past few years Spowers have been able to add value into the master planning process of La Trobe’s Bundoora and Bendigo campuses.
The benefits of moving from the ‘macro to the micro’ have never been more profound than during this process. The information gained through the detailed examination of all existing teaching spaces have clearly informed the basis of the strategic masterplanning projects as well as the development of exemplar teaching typologies.
Our ongoing involvement and strategic advice has enabled a discrete understanding of La Trobe’s mandate to deliver a superior experience. We have been able to provide
assistance in materialising a quality outcome within a rapidly changing higher education environment.
Terraces Refurbishment, Feasibility Study
A feasibility study that examined the adaptive re-use of the red brick ‘terraces’ in the Mont Park Precinct of the Bundoora campus. Analysis of various uses, from teaching to staff offices, was performed including cost and procurement outcomes.
Central Animal Services
The La Trobe University Health Sciences Clinic project involved the provision of facilities for teaching, workshops, laboratories and consulting rooms for the departments of podiatry, prosthetics and orthotics.
The project was to be seen not only as a University Teaching Building but also as a publicly accessible mainstream medical facility. The solution of a square plan with a square courtyard was a consequence of balancing the requirements of ground floor space and complex functional relationships against the budget.
The courtyards allows natural light and ventilation to enter effectively through eight elevations and also provides a contemplative space that acts as a constant point of reference whilst moving throughout the building.
Exemplar Learning Facilities (ELF)
As a background to this project, La Trobe commissioned Spowers to perform an audit of all general teaching spaces to form clear recommendations on the future use and extent of works required to upgrade the myriad of under-utilised, aged teaching spaces. Consideration was also given to the spaces in a ‘whole of building’ relationship in addition to identifying opportunities for minor modifications and inclusion of informal learning areas to improve the overall educational environment.
The aim of the ELF project was to demonstrate and test the basis of the teaching space typologies that underpinned the broad upgrades proposed for the campus. Significant time was spent by LTU stakeholders and the design team to ensure all opportunities were analysed leading to an appropriate and affordable series of spaces. To ensure a holistic approach a Post Occupancy Study was also conducted to gain response to the design outcomes. This feedback is critical in its integration into the development of future teaching space projects for La Trobe.
Health Sciences Precinct & Health Clinic
NW 10, 11, 12, Bundoora Campus
The relocation of the Lincoln School of Health project comprised of five separate stages. The building design reflects the existing palette of University materials, together with the requirement to create a new landmark focus for the La Trobe campus.
The complex incorporates two teaching/research buildings and a Lecture Theatre block with extensive multi media facilities. The buildings defined a new western precinct on the Campus that facilitate simplicity in the services and structures; and meet an exceptionally tight design, documentation and construction program.
The lecture theatres continue to perform at the highest level, being some of the most sought after spaces on campus.
Learning Space Audits
Bundoora & Bendigo Campuses
Spowers were invited to conduct, together with representatives from La Trobe University, an audit of all teaching & learning spaces throughout the university. Through the trends observed during the survey, LTU has requested Spowers perform a subsidary exercise of developing a suite of teaching spaces showcasing best practice ‘typologies’ to inform a consistent and current upgrade of teaching spaces across the institution.
Prior to the 10yr CDP, Spowers, together with representatives from LTU, conducted an audit of all teaching & learning spaces throughout the university.
The purpose of the survey is to:
- Assess the condition & quality of the learning space,
- Identify any priority areas for immediate upgrade,
- Nominate those spaces which are considered unsuitable for long term investment,
- Contribute to a comprehensive data base of existing learning spaces.
Through the trends observed during the survey LTU has requested Spowers perform a subsidiary exercise of developing a suite of teaching space best practice “typologies” to inform a consistent and current upgrade of teaching spaces.
Pathways Feasibility Study
LTU commissioned Spowers to assist in the development of the Pathways Project Feasibility. Engagement with both the LTU International College staff and Navitas (Education provider for the new facility) representatives were part of the stakeholder engagement.
Consideration of broad massing concepts to test the site, analysis of teaching delivery methods, compilation of area schedules and ensuring integration within LTU’s broader strategic objectives were captured in this exercise.