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Prior to commencement of the Green Heart project, the city centre campus existed of a series of brutalist slab blocks separated by a series of barren underused and unvisited courtyard spaces. Working with architects Page Park we were able to unify the internal and external ground plane such that the internal and external public realm became one seamless composition. The plant hunter gardens converted the previously forgotten courtyards into true learning environments.

The project involved the creation of external spaces which offer enhanced circulation, make best use of the total learning environment and are expressive of past cultural references. The fluid nature of the designs offered a counterpoint to the rigid 60's architectural form of the buildings, softening the image of the campus and mitigating the microclimatic constraints. Fluid geometries of the soft landscape take the shape of drumlin like grass mounds which, in series, subdivide the spaces into linked enclosures. The mounded lawns support a rich fusion of plants and planting regimes ranging from the common place to rare specimens but all linked through their associations with the Scottish plant hunters.

The aim was to create spaces that the University community could engage with physically, either by walking through them en-route to other points of the campus, or by remaining in them to socialise and to study. The shapes and forms of the spaces were crafted to encourage occupation by all sectors of the academic population ranging from individuals, through small groups of friends to class groups and potentially whole departments. Completed in 2016 these spaces are now making a meaningful contribution to the enhanced environmental quality of the entire campus.

Photo: Neale Smith
Photo: Neale Smith Photo: Neale Smith
Photo: Neale Smith





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