The Macquarie University Incubator was born from a complex mesh of creative constraints – limited time, brief, budget, and even limited permanency. It was however these constraints that fuelled the fire of innovation necessary to deliver the project. Located within the Macquarie University Campus, the Incubator will be used as a temporary facility until a permanent Innovation Hub is operational in an expected 3 to 5 year period.
Macquarie University’s ambition for the Incubator is to attract high calibre partners, researchers and students with a unique and inspiring work setting, allowing them to grow in a hotbed of ideas and network of intense pursuit, competition, support and collaboration.
The design of the Incubator embodied the space’s ideals of innovation and sustainability; challenging the norms of timber structure, natural ventilation, services delivery, and flexibility of space with its column-free structure and use of cross-laminated timber.
Root Partnerships was engaged to provide project management services for the design and delivery of the Incubator with a timeline of only 12 months from concept to occupation. Tight timelines required Root Partnerships to rethink the approval, procurement and delivery process whilst ensuring design integrity.
The rapid nature of the project meant a customised procurement method and contract was considered and implemented to allow early contractor involvement. The complex build alongside time pressures required a well-considered construction methodology of which a high percentage of building materials were prefabricated offsite to reduce the onsite program. Root Partnerships’ team facilitated a highly collaborative team environment which ensured the wider project team and consultants achieved each project milestone.
Following its successful completion in July 2017, the Incubator has received several prestigious national and international awards including:
- The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, International Architecture Award, 2018
- Australian Institute of Architects (NSW), William E Kemp Award for Educational Architecture, 2018
- Australian Institute of Architects (NSW), Sustainable Architecture, Commendation, 2018
- Learning Environments Australasia, Excellence in Educational Facilities Awards, Overall Winner, 2018
- Learning Environments Australasia, Excellence in Educational Facilities Awards, Category 2, New Construction / New Individual Facility over $8m, 2018
- Good Design Awards®, Architectural Design, 2018
- INDE.Awards 2018 The Learning Space, 2018
- PCA Innovation and Excellence Awards, Award for Project Innovation, Finalist, 2018
- Chicago Athenaeum, Green GOOD DESIGN™ Awards, Research and Technology, 2018
- Association of Consulting Structural Engineers NSW, Medium Building Projects Award, 2018
- Australian Timber Design Awards, Excellence in Timber Design – Innovative Structural Design, 2017
Images courtesy of Murray Fredericks.