According to Macquarie University, they are “the university for the audacious and the brave, those not afraid to tackle the big issues.” Furthermore, the Sydney university boasts that “in a world more dependent on science and engineering than ever before, [they are] at the forefront of change and innovation.”

With claims such as these, well-designed high-quality facilities are essential. And this is exactly what the redesign of the Faculty of Science & Engineering’s Millar building set out to create.

As one of the oldest structures on Macquarie University’s campus, the new design from NBRS Architecture had to respect the historical, social and aesthetic significance of the building. In doing so, the building has been transformed into an energy and space efficient contemporary workspace.


A new three-storey glazed atrium provides a physical link between the eight-storey Millar (E7A) building and the adjacent E7B. The atrium is activated with a café and provides space for individual research as well as promoting the chance encounter and collaborative learning.  


Supporting the university’s One Planet ecological footprint target, sustainability was key to the project. These features included the retention of the existing façade, high-performance glazing and natural ventilation. 

“The renewal and space upgrade of the Millar building is a perfect example of the benefits of retrofitting rather than rebuilding. By unlocking the potential of the existing building, we have provided a more sustainable, comfortable, healthy and productive workspace for the next generation of academics,” says Andrew Duffin, design director at NBRS.