Lyons + m3architecture win University of Queensland Sustainable Futures Building

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Rendering: © lyons + m3architecture

Brisbane, Australia – The University of Queensland (UQ) has selected Lyons + m3architecture to design the Sustainable Futures Building at the St Lucia campus. 

The new building will house the School of Chemical Engineering, allowing it to continue to evolve, while opening up opportunities to discover its future direction. The project will amplify the School’s profile as a hub of chemical engineering leadership in Australia, the Asia Pacific region, and the global stage. 

The design concept creates a physical environment and identity that reinforces the School’s distinctive strengths – outwardly open and transparent, and inwardly intense and focused. 

The building is designed at a leadership level for energy and water use. Its distinctive glass skin provides a highly energy-efficient façade, while energy intensive research areas are offset by expanded renewable energy photovoltaics on the roof. 

The idea for the exterior of the building is the confluence between chemical engineering and the campus itself – a campus with stoic sandstone origins becoming increasingly glass with each new building addition. This evolution is due to advances in technology involving the work of chemical engineers, amongst others. 

This metamorphosis from sand to glass, is use metaphorically to make a building that simultaneously acknowledges its time, place and role as the home for chemical engineering.

The design reflects the School’s culture – one based on open and collaborative relationships between students, teachers, researchers and the wider industry. This openness is linked by a sense of shared discovery – whether students and staff in learning environments, or researchers and industry professionals in proof-of-concept experimental spaces. 

Open connecting stairs, shared collaborative spaces, and blurred and overlapping boundaries between learning, research and industry, are the hall marks of the project.