Client: Australian National University
Date: Completed 2010
The School of Culture, History and Language (SCHL) occupies approximately two-thirds of the iconic Coombs building on the ANU campus, a building which is known for being notoriously hard to navigate. The School was looking to create a clear and attractive arrival point for visitors where they could then be directed to other parts of the organisation in this substantial building. One wing of the building on the third floor, directly opposite one of the main stairs, was selected to accommodate the new reception point, meeting areas and an open plan administration area.
Given the age of the building the majority of the existing internal walls were load-bearing and as such a steel support structure was engineered to sit within the ceiling void allowing the area to be opened up and converted from a highly officed floor plate with a central corridor to a predominantly open plan more fluid workplace. Feature glazed display cases serve to divide the reception / waiting area and the conference room while a staff breakout area has created a greater sense of depth and light to an otherwise internalised space. Warm timber floors and the use of brighter upholstery fabrics have created a clean modern arrival point the school can be justly proud of.