A new state-of-the-art building at the University of Newcastle will open its doors to students on 19 July. It is the first facility to be delivered on the University’s Honeysuckle City Campus Masterplan site.
Fast-tracked by the NSW Government as part of its ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure stimulus during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Q Building will house new facilities for the University’s creative disciplines of Media Arts Production, News and Digital Media, Animation, Creative Arts, Performing Arts, Songwriting and Music Production.
It will also be the new home to two of the University’s industry and community engagement facilities. Q Building will house the Future Arts and Science and Technology Lab (FASTLab) – a living lab and translational research centre, as well as the Integrated Innovation Network Hub (I2N) dedicated to the incubation, start-up, scale-up and launch of new commercial ventures.
“Q Building is set to become the entrepreneurial epicentre of the Hunter,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky.
“From its inception, we have designed and delivered Q Building to give our students access to the best technical equipment for their studies. This includes a black box studio, animation studios, showcase performance and teaching spaces, as well as audiovisual studios and a ground floor maker space where ideas become reality.”
Professor Zelinsky said by co-locating creative industries and the innovation hub within the facility, the University is providing students, staff and industry partners with continuity of exposure to a ‘create and innovate’ ecosystem.
“With delivery of Q Building at Honeysuckle, the University of Newcastle is providing students, staff and new businesses with space that encourages the convergence of ideas, creation, innovation, and commercialisation delivered through FASTLab and the I2N Hub,” he said.
“These facilities will be incredibly important for new industries and economic growth in our region to thrive.”
The $25 million building has been achieved through a funding partnership between the NSW Government, the University, and the City of Newcastle’s Hunter Innovation Project. The building was designed by architecture firm EJE Newcastle and constructed by Hansen Yuncken.
Q Building features a concrete core, with its remaining internal structure built using sustainably sourced, cross-laminated timber. Project Manager at Hansen Yuncken, Jonathan Russell, shared that the extensive use of timber on the Q Building required a unique approach.
“One key achievement was navigating the long lead-time for timber supply from Europe during the global pandemic to deliver this sustainable, innovative building,” Mr Russell said.
“Thanks to our well-developed BIM management techniques, advanced build methodology and reliable partner networks, not only did we manage to secure a total of 24 container loads of timber and accessories, but we also completed the mass timber elements ahead of schedule. A similarly rapid design coordination process was also achieved for the electrochromic façade.”
“Having come through the barriers created by COVID-19 and the challenges from the building’s cutting-edge design, we pride ourselves on adding another project to our sustainability portfolio by completing the construction on time, while meeting all technical requirements and remaining true to the aesthetic design of the building.”