Q Building is the western gateway and first stage of the University of Newcastle’s Honeysuckle
City Campus accommodating the School of Creative Industries and the Innovation Hub.
Included in the design are spaces for meeting, teaching, studying, making, performing,
recording, creating, researching and celebrating.
Innovation and environmental consciousness are considered threads throughout the
building’s design, from the use of mass timber to sequester carbon and offset the production
of carbon typical of most new constructions, through to the electrochromic kinetic thermal glazed façade that adjusts its tint according to the sun’s path controlling the solar influence on the building’s temperature. Sustainability extends to the building’s simple floorplate and generous 5100 millimetre floor-to-floor heights facilitating future flexibility in the building’s usage.
Materiality is minimised, including an absence of ceilings which in turn expose the building services that augment the natural environment when required, and provide ready access for any future modifications. While air conditioning has been installed to allow thermal comfort for extreme days, the network of ducting has been oversized to distribute fresh air, assisted by fans powered by roof mounted solar array, mitigating air leakage often suffered by an operable facade.
The centrepiece of the project is the ground floor flexible event space, which acts as the interface between the community and the University. The space, which expands externally onto the podium, allows for presentations, exhibitions and other celebrations. Resting in the heart of the space, is a representation of an Aboriginal midden designed by proud Gamilaraay man Beau De Belle and is constructed in part using shell from the site. The design reflects local Aboriginal land use and is specifically coloured to depict the coal tones native to the Hunter River banks.
Photography by Murray Keane