GHD Woodhead was engaged by Murdoch University to design the new Law Building that would connect with the existing Business, Information Technology and Law Buildings, creating an exciting statement precinct for the Law Faculty. The new facility incorporates an exhibition foyer, moot court, computer labs, teaching spaces, function rooms, administration and support areas.
A double-height feature wall frames the main visitor approach to the building and forms the spine for the internal layout. The spine wall within the foyer space provides both signage and exhibition opportunities. The ceiling and walls are sculpted over the mezzanine level to access the northern aspect and wash natural light down into the foyer.
The moot court dominates the main approach path with visual interest achieved both during day and night with the articulation of the façade and utilisation of large glazed panels. The moot court plan was developed around the radial concept for courtrooms, ensuring that visual connections between judge, associates and jury are maintained throughout proceedings.
The integration of environmentally sustainable design initiatives are critical to the success of the project. These initiatives were evaluated for their capital cost, payback period, energy savings and value to the project. They include night purging and economy cycles throughout the building, air quality and temperature sensing coordinated with the levels of natural ventilation, as well as coordination with the campus’ chilled water facility for cooling the air.
The building has been applauded by academic teaching staff for its flexibility, ambiance and the state-of-the-art technology, which enhances the teaching and learning experience.