Putting the joy back into Brutalism: The University of Queensland School of Architecture by m3architecture - Indesignlive | Daily Connection to Architecture and Design

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Putting the joy back into Brutalism: The University of Queensland School of Architecture by m3architecture

Brisbane’s m3architecture found the University of Queensland’s brutalist School of Architecture building had its problems but also the potential to transform itself and embrace its beautiful landscape.



BY Paul McGillick

May 19th, 2017


The University of Queensland is offering up some fine new buildings, such as the award-winning Advanced Engineering Building by Hassell/Richard Kirk. But this bold, glazed behemoth has an equally intriguing neighbour – the modestly-scaled ‘brutalist’ School of Architecture building. Unlike the new building, the 1974 building ignores its beautiful landscape setting

m3architecture were tasked with reviving the building, but unable to substantially alter its façade. Inside, though, there has been a transformation. According to m3’s Michael Lavery, joy has been brought back into the building – by going right back to its beginnings. The building boasts the only work by the famous Portuguese/Mozambiquan architect/artist, Pablo Guedes, in Australia – a bright and joyous graphic in the stairwell. Guedes advocated the union of art and architecture and thought architectural education should be driven by the fun of encounter.

m3 have taken this graphic as their starting point, opening up all the enclosed spaces, inserting a generous corner window to embrace the view and adapting the Guedes graphic as a leitmotif enlivening the flooring, the office doors, even the exterior soffits. Unable to create new voids, they have replaced the old tinted glass windows with clear glass to drive greater connection with the outside landscape.

Read the full story in the latest edition of Indesign Magazine, #69 – the ‘Think Big’ issue.
Get the specs for this project here.

Photography by Brett Boardman


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