Monash University Logan Hall
By Debbie Ryan12-09-2016Popularity:30580 Comments

Logan Hall is a striking new addition to Monash University’s Clayton Campus. Marking the corner to two of the campus’s primary pedestrian avenues, Sports Walk and Scenic Boulevard, Logan Hall celebrates the aspiration to become a ‘University City’. This approach is evident in two key ways.

The first of these is the location of common areas, social spaces and vertical circulation at the elbow of the L-shaped plan. These spaces offer a variety of opportunities for chance encounter and incidental learning for the student residents, activities that occur both day and night. The architectural expression of this corner is as a patterned, glass curtain-wall façade, reflecting the activity of the campus by day and offering a window into the social activity of the student residents in the double-height common room and games room, and the mezzanine communal laundry, by night.

The second way this aspiration is evident is in the application of the repeated ‘unit type’ as a basis for developing its architectural expression. As the brief required the aggregation of 250 units of what is effectively the same geometric element, the architectural approach to the northern elevation used this unit in a ‘stacked’ and ‘stepped’ configuration. The stepping has an elliptical set out, so that the return perpendicular walls (and colonnade blade columns) are most pronounced at the two ends of the elevation. These return walls are clad in purple glazed bricksnaps. The glossy reflectivity of the glazed brick facing adds another level of complexity to the reading of the façade as the units appear to ‘slip’ in space. The urban impact of this architectural gesture is to embrace the new public realm facing onto Sports Walk and create an address to the north.

Internally, this configuration is echoed in a stepping and compression of the primary residential corridor. This approach breaks up the monotony of what is otherwise a typical feature of communal living, while also creating informal gathering spaces on each floor with spectacular picture windows framing views to the landscape beyond. The stepped panelling of the internal circulation spaces is finished in hardwearing coloured and timber laminates with paint finishes to the occupancy unit doors executed in a gradient of increasing colour intensity as the space compresses toward the centre of the corridor.

On the ground floor the sweeping gesture of the northern façade is reflected in the retail shopfronts facing onto the urban colonnade. This colonnade negotiates the change in grade that occurs across the site, offering a variety of spatial experiences from vast and generous at the corner approach through to more intimate spaces at its western end. The blade columns forming the colonnade are shaped to reflect the extent of the stepped set out and express their raw materiality in a textured concrete finish. The shaping and set out of this columns is reminiscent of those seen in mid-20th century modernist icons such as the Unitéd’ Habitation and once again echo the connections back to the history and identity of this institution.

Photograhy by John Gollings

Photograhy by John Gollings

Photograhy by John Gollings

Photograhy by John Gollings

Photograhy by John Gollings

Photograhy by John Gollings

Photograhy by John Gollings

Photograhy by John Gollings

key: Monash University Logan Hall, University City
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