Award-winning architecture studio Architectus specified a range of acoustic solutions from Autex Acoustics for the Central Courtyard redevelopment project at Macquarie University.
Designed as a vibrant hub for students where they can relax, study, socialise, eat, and live, the Central Courtyard redevelopment is Macquarie University’s largest transformation in 54 years. Comprising 68,000 square metres of prime campus real estate, the courtyard and surrounding buildings feature indoor and outdoor casual lounging and dining spaces, formal classrooms and informal study areas, a graduation hall and stage, function rooms, research services, and student accommodation.
Seamlessly connecting study and leisure
1 Central Courtyard, a brand new four-level building is the largest element of the project and home to the graduation hall, food and beverage outlets, 26 formal classrooms, and informal breakout spaces split across two floors. The indoor and outdoor spaces flow seamlessly, linking the building to the landscape beyond.
Incorporating colourful modular furniture, playful textures, and biophilic design principles, Architectus wanted the breakout spaces to ‘uplift the everyday experiences of the campus community’. However, as they’re intended to host any number of students socialising or studying between classes, these spaces had the potential to become painfully noisy. To create a comfortable, relaxing environment, acoustic treatment was vital.
Though they were originally considering an acoustic solution from overseas, the architects felt an Australian made product would align better with the project’s values. As local manufacturers, Autex Acoustics could provide a solution that fit both the aesthetic and acoustic requirements of the space with short lead times, ensuring the project remained on track.
Architectus specified Frontier acoustic fins in the style Talus for two of the breakout spaces. When applied to the ceiling, the fins appear fluid, gently rippling as you change perspectives. Imitating the lush surrounding bush, Talus in Acros evokes a ‘leafy canopy’ in one of the breakout spaces, while the same style in the colour Savoye forms an undulating ceiling-scape in the adjacent lounge area.
Contemporary campus living
The two student accommodation towers, a first for Macquarie University, will be home for 342 students—catering to both their lifestyle and study needs. On the ground floor, each building has a communal socialising area with lounges and café style seating designed to host informal gatherings and study groups. Composition in Silver is applied to sections of the wall, providing both acoustic absorption and a pinnable surface for hanging posters and notices.
To accommodate different lifestyle preferences, the towers offer a range of room styles from studio apartments and double-occupancy rooms, to six bedroom apartments—giving students the option to form share houses. Each room is equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, secure storage, beds, and small study nooks with desks, shelving, and Composition pinboards. Pinnable, self-healing, and hook-and-loop receptive, Composition is perfect for the rooms as it offers the occupants space to hang photos or study notes without damaging the walls.
Modern learning environment
This ‘forward-thinking educational precinct’ is designed to evolve and adapt with the University, offering students a modern approach to tertiary study. After seven years of hard work, the central courtyard and surrounding buildings were officially opened to students in February 2021, with an overwhelmingly positive response.