FIRST LOOK: Flinders University unveils innovative vertical campus in Adelaide’s heart

Flinders University’s new vertical campus by Architectus in Adelaide’s CBD, is designed to enhance collaboration and offer students unprecedented access to key industry hubs.

Architectus architectural firm, has recently completed an impressive vertical city campus for Flinders University, located in the bustling heart of Adelaide’s CBD. Positioned strategically within the contemporary One Festival Tower at the revitalised Festival Plaza, the new eight-level campus marks a significant milestone for higher education in South Australia.

This innovative campus, nestled beside the Adelaide Railway Station in the lively Riverbank precinct, is designed to significantly enhance collaboration and boost learning opportunities for students. It is purposefully located to link Flinders University with key sectors such as technology, business, government, law, and the arts. The proximity to these hubs is expected to enhance research initiatives and industry partnerships.

According to Architectus Principal Andrew Schunke, the campus is a major step forward in higher education design. “The project takes a leap forward in higher education by providing a purpose-built vertical campus complete with learning and teaching and workplace environments positioned to strengthen industry engagement and collaboration across colleges and degrees to position student success,” Schunke stated.

The design of the campus emphasizes flexibility and connectivity. It includes multi-mode learning and teaching spaces, student-led study zones, a law library, a Moot Court, a staff workplace, event facilities, outdoor terraces, and an executive education suite. All facilities are equipped with cutting-edge digital technology, designed to be intuitive and user-friendly.

The learning and teaching settings are also intertwined purposefully with the academic workplace. This layout fosters collaborative opportunities among staff and students across different disciplines and departments, nurturing a sense of community within the campus.

Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling shared his thoughts about the campus’s potential to reshape urban education. “Flinders new City Campus, brings a new era of contemporary education to the heart of the city, offering more choices and opportunities for students,” said Professor Stirling.

The precinct’s design also pays homage to the cultural significance of its location, a traditional meeting place for the Kaurna people and history of the area’s Eucalyptus trees. Architectural features at the campus entrance echo the Wadna used historically by the Kaurna for climbing these trees.

The campus’s fitout takes inspiration from the local flora and riverscape, featuring a progression from warm earth tones at the lower levels, through ochres and warm grey bark tones in the middle, to leaf-type colours at the upper levels. This transition not only beautifies the space but also aids in intuitive navigation through the campus.

In constructing this modern educational environment, there was a clear focus on fostering meeting places. Commons and informal zones throughout the campus encourage interaction and engagement among students and staff.

Architectus Principal Diana Rosenthal reflected on the project, noting the deep collaborative efforts that made this campus a reality. “We are proud to have been a part of Flinders’ new city campus. Its success is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and close collaboration with the University, our team, and our project collaborators,” said Rosenthal.

With its strategic design and location, Flinders University’s new city campus is poised to become a hub for academic excellence and industry collaboration in Adelaide.

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