Two well-known universities in Sydney, Macquarie University & UNSW, are proposing to splash a combined $400 million on developing new multi-use buildings.
Macquarie University wants to bring commercial and academic uses together within two buildings - reaching six and seven storeys - in a development that will cost more than $283 million.
Designed by Sissons and Kannfinch, the proposed complex at 8-12 University Avenue, Macquarie Park, will have A-grade offices, retail, administration and laboratory uses.
The site occupies more than 11,000 sqm and will yield about 50,000 sqm in gross floor area.
Notably, space for non-university uses are expected to take up nearly half of the entire development.
The office space, which will be leased out commercially, will account for a third of the total space. This is expected to “optimise the commercial value and ongoing economic viability of the campus”, according to the university’s application.
Bringing academic disciplines and commercial enterprises together under one roof is a priority for the university in this development, the application wrote.
“This is achieved by creating a commercial focus within the campus whilst providing office, laboratory and collaboration spaces to facilitate integration,” it wrote.
A car park and various small buildings currently occupy the land. These will be demolished to make way for the development.
In Sydney’s eastern suburbs, the University of New South Wales has lodged plans to develop a $117 million multi-purpose building spanning eight levels - using predominantly timber.
The complex will create about 15,000 sqm of gross floor area.
The ground floor will be activated with student-led spaces and retail, while end-of-trip facilities will provide bicycle storage and amenities for occupants of the building.
Teaching spaces will take up levels one and two and will blend in with student spaces.
Levels three to seven will house spaces for individual or collaborative working and will not be limited to any faculty or school.
Designed by Tzannes and Lendlease, the project will redevelop the 60-year-old UNSW Hall, a budget student accommodation complex that contains about 200 beds, also known as Building D14.
The proposal aims to “unlock the development potential of the site”, the application wrote.
“Due to its end of life and poor utilisation of land, the current use is not considered the highest and best use and has therefore been identified for demolition and redevelopment,” it wrote.
“A new multipurpose facility that accommodates a variety of uses and modular internal areas will meet short and medium term demand with the ability to adapt for future needs as well.”
It is not the first cross-laminated timber building Tzannes have designed.
The firm completed International House Sydney in Barangaroo for Lendlease in 2018.
Both university’s development applications are on public exhibition until February 22.
Cover Image: The two proposed buildings at Macquarie University. (Image: Sissons and Kann Finch)