SUNSHINE SKILLS HUB GOES TO TENDER News / Project Milestone / 02.03.2018

Victoria University’s state-of-the-art “skills and development hub” has gone to tender. Located in the Sunshine campus, the new three-storey building by Woods Bagot will include a dedicated engineering and innovation space catering for prototype design, micro manufacturing, practice sharing and networking. The $35 million facility, replaces dated demountable buildings on Ballarat Road and will play a pivotal role in becoming a hub and focus point both, for local residents as well as the student community.

The Sunshine Skills Hub will become a highly active and vibrant part of Sunshine’s public open space network. Visited and loved by students, teachers, local residents and visitors, the development encourages exchange between all users in a joyful and playful manner. The project will create an inspirational landscape that showcases smart design and use of open space, in regards to environmental and social performance.

The material language utilises references to the basaltic lava flows underneath. Contemporary in form, a simple but robust landscape is created that maximises connections to the surrounding public domain, engaging with street crossings and bus stops.

A central plaza and cafe is created within the centre of the site, adjacent to the existing spread of outdoor amenities to concentrate campus life and create a new 'hub' for students to spill out. Tiered seating and lawn terraces are provided to encourage activated edges whilst also enabling a dialogue with the adjacent Health campus, seeding the idea of a future Shared Plaza connection across the street.

Gardens are designed to function in multiple ways, as spatial defining elements and also to provide detention and cleansing of surface run off. Existing trees are retained where possible to maximise shade and biodiversity on campus and canopy has been added in a response to the ‘Greening the West Strategy’. City West Water’s Integrated Water Cycle Management Strategy outlines the potential of future integration of new water cycle management measures to enable a healthy, liveable and prosperous Melbourne. Factors such as climate variability, population growth and trends in water use were analysed in order to deliver a diverse, resilient and robust supply system that incorporates recycled water and harvested stormwater.