The $21 million new Library and Learning Commons at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus was officially opened today (Friday, August 2) by Queensland’s Education Minister, Mr John-Paul Langbroek.
Addressing an audience that featured representatives from government, business and education, including Griffith University Chancellor and former Queensland Governor Ms Leneen Forde, Mr Langbroek acknowledged Griffith’s ongoing commitment to providing the very best facilities for students and staff.
He said the changes that had occurred on the Gold Coast campus in the past ten years were a tribute to the growth of the University and the city itself.
Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor said the extended Griffith Library and new Learning Commons would make a major contribution to enhancing the learning experience of 17,000 students on the Gold Coast campus. He said the facility was expected to welcome more than one million visitations in 2014.
“These new facilities are absolutely appropriate for the 21st century,” Professor O’Connor said.
“With a range of innovative teaching and learning spaces, the design of the Library and Learning Commons is one that creates opportunities for collaboration, chance encounters, rest, comfort and exchange.”
Professor O’Connor said that while Griffith University was expanding its online study programs, students still wanted to be “on campus” and deserved world-class learning environments.
The Library and Learning Commons is the latest phase in Griffith University’s $320 million building and infrastructure program.
One of the lead architects on the project, Mr Graham Legerton, from Brisbane-based specialist design practice ThomsonAdsett, said the completed work exemplified experimentation, collaboration and choice.
“For students, choice defines the flexibility required for a modern library,” he said. “Throughout the building there are different experiences, different scales of space and different levels, but the sense of connection and collaboration is never lost.”
Under the new design, the previously L-shaped Griffith Library has been triangulated and capitalises on its 160m frontage on University Drive.
Innovative environments and other features include a collaborative space, a learning “aviary” garden space, a giant screen, quiet areas, 24-hour student lounge, sky lounge and the GUMURRII Student Support Unit.
The use of louvres along the front of the building maximises permeability by protecting the façade from the sun while never sacrificing the panoramic view.
However, the main talking point of the overall design is undoubtedly the “shard” meeting room, a bold and futuristic component offering striking views across the campus.
The Library and Learning Commons was recently recognised by Sweden’s Nobel Forum of Future Learning Environments as “an exemplar hub of modern design that embraces people, inclusion, culture, experimentation and place making”.
Visitors to Griffith’s Open Day on Sunday, August 11, will be able to explore the facility. For further information, go to www.griffith.edu.au/open-day