ANU 01

Project Overview

The ANU Jaeger 8 Research School of Earth Sciences  is a building that portrays the international and national image of the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences. It is the administrative hub of the School, with a visible and distinctive entry, teaching areas, accommodation for staff and students, all within a building that achieves excellence in energy efficiency with maximum effectiveness.

The building has been sited and planned to take into account existing circulation routes and proposed additional links, to connect it with and from the main entry point to the School. The distinct and visible entry fragments into the landscape to provide areas for informal public interaction.

The palette of materials, colours and textures focuses the scale of the building on a pedestrian scale at street level and reinforces the adjacent heritage precinct fabric.

The research and teaching environments within the building have been designed to be flexible and adaptable.  The structure allows for future changes in technology, accommodation type, and teaching methodologies. Internal layouts address the briefed function locations and relationships and provide effective interaction of between staff and students.

Active spaces, such as teaching, breakout, meeting, foyer spaces, are located throughout the building providing a place for the interaction of all occupants; public and private, formal and informal.

The interior colour palette links to the exterior materials by incorporating a neutral base of greys, creams and deep reds to reflect not only the heritage aspect but with geological references. Brighter highlights are used to create a dynamic contrast to the earthy tones.

Varieties of travertine, granite, marble and volcanic stones were used internally and externally, to not only showcase the product, but also to be used as a teaching tool for students studying earth sciences.

Timber was used substantially extensively throughout to add texture, depth and warmth to all spaces, with partial screening of breakout spaces to corridor areas and, over the ventilation louvres.

The building includes numerous sustainable design principles through:

  • Exceptionally high levels of insulation to the building envelope
  • Internal areas of exposed concrete for greater cooling capacity in summer
  • Doubled glazing to all doors and windows
  • External sun shading to the façade
  • Rainwater collection for irrigation, toilet flushing and to provide cool the air to the building during summer
  • Energy efficient light fittings carefully selected to also provide visual interest to spaces.

 An innovative mechanical air handling system incorporates the use of “coolth” storage via collected rainwater to cool air during summer which is then distributed throughout the building through ventilation shafts. The mechanical system then uses the cool night air to re-cool the water for the next day. The building is also designed to work on a passive mode utilizing the ventilation shafts and automated and manual operable windows to create a naturally ventilated environment.

The project was completed within the project time frame and budget.

Photography: Ben Wrigley