Melbourne Connect is the University of Melbourne’s new state-of-the-art invention and exploration firm located at the bustling crossroad of Grattan and Swanston on the edge of the Melbourne CBD. Designed by an architectural collaborative, Melbourne Connect constitutes a range of exploration, marketable and domestic spaces in three connected structures characterized by porosity, intending to foster invention through planned and incidental collaboration.

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Melbourne Connect_

The 74,000sq.m. invention hub comprises three separate but connected sustainable structures arranged around a central yard casing an array of tenants, including the Melbourne School of Engineering, Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre, pupil accommodation, co-working space, and marketable assiduity mates. Melbourne Connect presents a complex detail to produce an innovative ecosystem for the public, the University, and different firmament inhabitants. With these druggies and the specific Carlton environment in mind, the approach to the design needed integrated and unconventional results that challenged nearly all aspects of the design.

A great work terrain must admit that people must be at their stylish design’s design process, including a series of cooperative design and engagement shops and donations with all stakeholders that invested in the design. Ar. Woods Bagot’s internal design process involved a robust series of design reviews and cooperative sessions with independent pundits within the broader business to bed specialist knowledge and exploration from WB’s global platoon working on other invention firms across the globe.

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Ground Floor Plan_

Since 1856, the point has been devoted to women’s health invention in wisdom and well-being, a place of nonstop literacy with groundbreaking exploration. The structure is warmly welcoming, with the ground-bottom Science Gallery Melbourne openly inviting the community to come by and immerse themselves in the ideas and energy pollinating within the firmament. This ‘open-source’ morality extends to the Superfloor and Telstra Creator Space, where people are encouraged to ‘play’ with their ideas, refining and testing propositions in a deeply cooperative and welcoming space.

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Grand Staircase_

The 3,600 sq.m. Superfloor is a generous meeting, event, and workspace area that brings people together to help drive ideas further and briskly. This devoted collaboration space is accessible to allocated mates and sets a global standard for community curation and partner amenity. A large, windy stair draws the architectural language of the laneway soffit into the structure. It connects the foyer and Superfloor, bringing callers through a theatre space on its way over, and fostering farther openings for incidental forms of exchange. The Telstra Creator Space is its perfect complement–furnishing access to the space and technology that can put ideas into prototype action, presto.

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Gathering Space_

To the north, beside the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne, a mass timber structure contains early literacy and childcare installations on the top three floors and the university’s Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre below. Warping further around the point, Melbourne Connect is devoted to accommodation for graduate scholars and visiting experimenters and scholars. The thoughtful curation of adaptable workspaces, collaboration capitals, open-air patios, childcare, health, and well-being features create a positive, dynamic terrain where people want to spend time at work and spend time on the coming great advance.

Large floor plates reduce walls between industry and the University, while a precinct-wide base erecting information and dispatches (ICT) structure ensures high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity for all. The central landscaped oculus, Womin Djerring (come together), infuses the space with fresh air and light, with precisely chosen retail, flexible seating, and Wi-Fi.

Melbourne Connect presented a series of construction and engineering challenges overcome by an innovative mindset and cooperative approach. All three structures – the six-story hybrid timber structure, 14-story pupil accommodation, and 10-story marketable structure casing the University’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology – are united by the Superfloor. The six-story structure uses a finagled timber structure designed to simplify construction, reduce safety and threat issues and improve sustainability outcomes. 

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Construction of the structure_

Science Gallery Melbourne, on the corner of Swanson and Grattan, needed innovative results to minimise the number of columns and maximise ceiling heights. The design reduces structural depth and weight and improves the foundation system. Science Gallery Melbourne’s point stairs served from engineering thinking which reduced member sizes and materials by 40%, aesthetics for the gallery stoner while lowering costs.

Traces of the Royal Women’s Sanitarium have been bedded in the point through the play of bricks within the paving, as well as through strip lighting and changes in brickwork that recall the footprints of the former Lying-in hospital building. In addition to offering suggestions about the site’s recent history, the use of slip-ups throughout the ground aeroplane and tribune has been stationed to sew the design together with its immediate environment and articulate the intentions of the new installation. Several carefully selected brick types establish subtle connections to the street in each civic-scaled portal.  On the other entry, a series of glass bricks introduces a mortal-scale element to the road, generating a stunning digital exhibition face within the facade.

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Facade of the building_

Melbourne Connect set an ambitious sustainability agenda. These include energy-effective facades, roof-mounted photovoltaic cells, geothermal heat pumps, and water-treatment systems. The main palace facade uses prism-shaped panels and sun-shadowing hoods, optimised through rapid-fire digital prototyping, to respond to specific environmental conditions around the structure elevations.

Section of the building_

The completion of Melbourne Connect adds another knot to the broader Melbourne Innovation sections at a time when the value of in-person collaboration and communication is being undermined by its ongoing absence throughout the megacity. Physical, accessible spaces that render visible the prioritisation of participated forms of engagement and hassle will be an important part of what happens for education, assiduity, government, and the wider community.


Pratiksha is a final year architecture student who has a keen interest in Indian architecture and History of Architecture. She believes that one must understand the past in order to make sense of the present & shape a better future. She believes that her interest in writing can make an impact on the community.