Chancellery & Business School

Campus and Quadrangle as a curving forest of Eucalyptus Marginata

The new buildings at Edith Cowan University are sited on a gentle rise, set amongst bushland and eucalypts. On one side are the broad lanes of 
Grand Drive leading into Joondalup city, and on the other a central pathway that leads down to a modest lake and peaceful green lawns. The forms, materials and character of the buildings have been drawn directly from this landscape.

The Chancellery is made like two giant plants, their branches fanning out and rising up from the ground to almost touch at the centre. These two rising forms frame a vista down to the lake and open wide toward Grand Drive in a gesture of welcoming and invitation to the city. This curving form is assembled from Jarrah struts that begin almost parallel with the ground and gradually fold up and out, framing a new ceremonial open space and reaching up towards the sky.

The Jarrah screen provides shelter, shade and structural support to the assembly of work areas, courtyards, cafe and gallery spaces that step up from one to three levels. Within the interstitial space between the timber screen and the main enclosure, 
the circulation is concentrated. Stairways and lifts occurring in this shaded zone open to the view, creating informal meeting places and drawing occupants to the exterior as they move between the floors and wings of the building.

Positioned on either side of the central space, within the sheltering screen, are located the Council Chamber and 
the executive offices of the Vice Chancellor, held in visible democratic balance either side of the vista and connecting bridge.

In counterpoint with the Chancellery is the linear structure that accommodates the School of Business teaching and offices spaces. In another interpretation of the landscape, the ground plane has been extended and bent up into a gentle slope that looks back to the rising forms of the Chancellery. This form is made from the material of the earth: clay brick and concrete packed together to create an enclosing, bowl-like open space with seating for events or informal meeting and gathering. Intersecting this artificial landscape slope are metal enclosures accommodating the academic offices. These orthogonal 
forms look back towards the Chancellery and city beyond through a metal veil of automatic louvres that shield the sun.

The organic forms of the architecture have been developed to appear to rise almost 'naturally' out of the landscape itself and to represent and embody the values and aspirations of the university. Equally important is the transformation of this site into an urban focus and catalyst for a dense future campus that defines a series of symbolic, open, public spaces, of democratic nature.

This project at Joondalup demonstrates two key aspects 
of the work of fjmt: topographic placemaking and a sustainable approach to local climatic conditions.

- Kenneth Frampton

Architects in Association: HASSELL

More

Chancellery & Business School, Edith Cowan University, architects fjmt

Chancellery & Business School designed by fjmt

ECU chancellery business school fjmt

Chancellery & Business School, Edith Cowan University, architects fjmt

Chancellery & Business School designed by fjmt

The generating circular geometries and projected tangential posts around a central axis

Chancellery & Business School designed by fjmt

Chancellery & Business School designed by fjmt

Chancellery & Business School, Edith Cowan University, architects fjmt

chancellery-portrait1

chancellery-slider3

Chancellery and Business School designed by fjmt