GPN4 Building, University of Queensland

St Lucia Campus, Brisbane

Client: University of Queensland

Year: 2008

ML Design (in association with Richard Kirk Architects), were the successful architects in a shortlisted design competition for the General Purpose North Building 4. The 10,000 square-metre building spans over six levels contains a variety of functional spaces in line with the University’s requirements.

Now referred to as the Sir Llew Edwards Building, it features unique spaces including: offices, student resources, a 250 square-metre auditorium and a multipurpose space that opens out onto a breath-taking landscaped roof terrace.

Overlooking the main university forecourt and the Forgan Smith Building, the prominent contemporary building responds to its surrounds by seamlessly complementing the landscaping and surrounding architecture.

ML Design’s innovative and fresh thinking is what saw us win this lucrative competition. This competition gave us a chance to explore our creativity and deliver an integrated design solution that worked for the University.

When working on this design, ML Design considered three main things: integration with the overall campus master plan, creating a unique building typology and carefully designing building functionalities. Each of these considerations were worked into our final design solution in order to reach the client’s desired outcome.

Given the nature of the project and the history of the University of Queensland’s design competitions, we approached the project as creatively as possible in order to explore the project parameters in an unpredictable and unique way.

Winning the FDG Stanley Award for Public Architecture from the Australian Institute of Architects Queensland awards in 2009, the building provides a bold and unique building typology for the campus.

ML Design and RKA’s design solution was successful on many levels. From the way the building engages with the campus’ master plan to the undemanding and minimal interior which perfectly complements the exterior – each element adds to the overall design.

With an emphasis on transparency, the building features extensive glazing that allows the building’s occupants to enjoy views to Brisbane’s iconic West End and the scenic mountain ranges beyond. The end result: a building that stands as an eye-catching monument in the heart of the St Lucia campus.