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The Wade Institute, designing the next generation of entrepreneurs

The next generation’s innovators will have a new home at the University of Melbourne’s Wade Institute when it opens in 2016, launching the Master of Entrepreneurship.



BY Andrew McDonald

December 11th, 2015


In a space designed to be as agile as the minds of its young users, the Wade Institute will stand as immersive learning environment where practical business knowledge is fused with visionary ideas.

“If we are to develop Australia’s next generation of businesses and teach the people who will lead them, we need to do so in a place that actively encourages experimentation, innovation and unconventional learning,” says Rufus Black, Master of the University’s Ormond College.

“Our intention was to establish an institution that empowers its students rather than limiting how they learn,” says Black, “The building embodies values we want to impart to the next generation of entrepreneurs around creativity, sustainability and health.”

In order to inspire this level of entrepreneurial passion, a crack team of architects was requires. Led by Lovell Chen, the project also saw industrial designer Joe Iacono, education designer Peter Jamieson and structural engineer, Phil Gardiner from Irwinconsult brought together to deliver an archetype for imagination.

“I’ve always been of the belief that the power of a space will come from the people who occupy it – this couldn’t be truer of the Wade Institute, where we have provided a foundation for creativity and left students to design their own reality within the space,” says Lovell Chen’s Principal Architect, Kai Chen.

From open plan classrooms to a customer lab, students are able to clip together walls, screens, desks and lights, and the steel plate underneath a soft cork floor enables workspaces made up of light polycarbonate units, which are configured via a magnet system.

Created specifically for the Wade Institute, the design will be the first educational building in Australia built to German Passivhaus certifications, which means a high standard for energy efficiency.

Courses at the institute begin in February, 2016.

Wade Institute
wadeinstitute.org.au

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