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Peter Cook's CRAB completes Queensland architecture school

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[FIRST LOOK + PLANS] Peter Cook and Gavin Robotham’s CRAB Studio has completed this new school of architecture building in Queensland, Australia

The new 2,500 m2 Abedian School of Architecture for Bond University on the Gold Coast sits within the wider, Arata Isozaki-designed campus.

The building’s accommodation is arranged around a central street space which rises up through the hillside-block echoing the surrounding topography.

The façade and large overhanging roof are designed to protect the building from the summer sun preventing overheating.  

CRAB won the competition to design the architecture school back in 2011.


The architect’s view

‘The building is a long, airy loft on two to three levels articulated by a series of ‘scoops’: defining structure-enclosures that can be used for casual meetings and ‘crit’ sessions.

‘These line the central street that gently rises up the hilltop site. As befits a hot and sometimes sticky climate, the building is airy and folds over upon itself in a series of fan-like roofs and slits and advantage is taken of the east-west axis to clarify a very climate-controlled development of the building envelope that includes sunshade ‘eyebrows’ on the sun-drenched north side.’


Project data

Location Queensland, Australia
Type of project university
Client Bond University
Architect CRAB
Structural engineer Arup
Main contractor ADCO
Start on site date January 2012
Completion date November 2013
Opened February 2014
Gross internal floor area 2,500 m2
Form of contract and/or procurementdesign and build
Total cost $16.2m (AUD)

Previous story (AJ 15.02.11)

Peter Cook’s CRAB wins Queensland architecture school project

[FIRST LOOK] Peter Cook and Gavin Robotham’s CRAB Studio has scooped the contest for the new Soheil Abedian School of Architecture for Bond University in the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia

Designed together with Australian Royal Gold Medallist Brit Andresen, the building will sit on Arata Isozaki’s 1987 campus and will be attached to the University’s School of Sustainability.

The victorious scheme has been described as ‘a raw but highly modulated composition of fluted timber and panel surfaces’.

At the heart of the project is a central ‘gently climbing’ street lined on one side by two-storey studio and a chain of offices and laboratories on the other.

Entrance - Peter Cook and Gavin Robotham’s CRAB Studio's competition-winning Soheil Abedian School of Architecture for Bond University in the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia

The architect’s view 

Bond’s new School of Architecture might be experienced as a varied and episodic journey ; sheltered and determined to the north , the building is airy, effortless and free to the south.

The curvature of its spinal interior route establishes a new soft core for the North West Quadrant – a core populated by the life of the school by student experimentation, social gatherings, small lectures, crits and spontaneous events.

Leaving the existing spine pathway, the broad internal path dives under the nose of the quiet-study strip and runs along the side of the ‘scoops’. The path rises slowly upwards from the entrance – echoing the topography of adjoining garden.

From this street the faculty’s studios and larger gathering spaces spread out onto a terraced deck – which itself melts into the re-vegetated* garden.

Deck – studios - scoops -street -study strip, delineate the scheme.

We wish to create a very ambient building where the individual can really identify with the nature of his or her activity. Therefore the components of the building – the pads and scoops each have notable shifts of direction or size.

The wrapping of the building is a softer progression. Undulating in plan and sheltering from direct northern light (the sunny side) and filtering southern light into the interior. Avoiding glare and overheating.

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