The Learning & Teaching Building for Monash University by John Wardle Architects

Learning space with landscaped interior, linking to its place

Project Specs


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The Learning & Teaching Building (LTB) for Monash University marks a new gateway to the Clayton campus. The LTB is a multi-faculty learning facility that serves a significant proportion of the student community. Innovative formal learning and teaching spaces are complemented by informal learning hubs that feature a variety of study settings. The modernist lineage of the campus brings with it a philosophy of creating building objects within the indigenous landscape setting. The design of LTB keeps learning activity close to the ground to create a connection with the campus landscape and imbue the building with qualities of various terrains. A perforated zinc screen becomes a veil around the perimeter of the building providing shade while maintaining views through the glazed façade. This profiled and scalloped screen is folded and recalls the texture and patterns of the Stringybark tree.

▼项目外观,external view of the building ©Peter Bennetts

▼建筑外侧由穿孔锌板围合,perforated zinc screen around the perimeter of the building ©Peter Bennetts

▼与校园相连的底层空间,the ground floor space connecting with the campus ©Peter Bennetts


▼分解透视图,exploded perspective ©John Wardle Architects

A horizontal field of spaces are set within a broad, low rise building which means that the learning activities of the interior are visible and accessible to the wider campus community. The stairs are social condensers, promoting unexpected encounters between the campus community. The major interior spaces have a specific character. The brick towers are reminiscent of pottery kilns at Stoke-on-Trent, England – a reference to the process of firing that starts with a malleable clay is abstractly akin to the process of learning. The perimeter roof is a series of folded light monitors that encompass the uppermost floor. The roof geometry introduces varied qualities of natural light whilst screening the glare of low-angle sunlight from the east and west.

▼主空间,中部设置窑炉一般的砖塔,main space with a kiln-like brick tower in the center ©Trevor Mein

▼砖塔内的学习空间,learning space inside the brick tower ©Peter Bennetts

▼连接不同楼层的楼梯带来新的邂逅,stair connecting different levels providing new encounters ©Peter Bennetts


Learning spaces are grouped in clusters and supported by informal learning neighborhoods. These clusters break down the scale of the building into smaller, more intimate settings for students to inhabit.  Streets, courtyards, bridges, balconies and stairs are choreographed into ravines, clearings, strands, nests and amphitheaters to make a landscape of the interior.  At the centre of the plan is a sawtooth roof that draws diffuse southern light into the interior. A pattern of rhomboidal skylights connects and unites the public spaces of the building with natural light from above. This interior is made of the same materials of the campus – brick and timber, rendering the demarcation between inside/outside ambiguous. It is a place for learning, inextricably linked to its place, and fostered by settings within a landscape of unexpected encounter.

▼丰富的学习空间,菱形天窗带来自然光照,various learning spaces with natural light through the rhomboidal skylights ©Peter Bennetts


Through consideration of the evolving patterns of site inhabitation and the inherent characteristics of a low, broad building, the LTB emerges as a newly constructed landscape that creates surprise and delight. It is a place for learning, inextricably linked to its place.

▼总平面图,site plan ©John Wardle Architects

▼平面图,plans ©John Wardle Architects

▼剖面图,section ©John Wardle Architects

Architecture Practice:  John Wardle Architects
Client/ Owner: Monash University
Location: Clayton campus, Melbourne Australia
Type of Building: Education / Public
Project duration:  2014 – 2017
Gross Floor area (GFA): 28,980sqm Gross Floor Area (GFA)
Sustainability Rating: 5-Star Green Star Educational (v1) rating (as-built)
Project Team: John Wardle, Stefan Mee, Meaghan Dwyer, Yee Jien, Sam Clegg, Amanda Moore, Alexandra Morrison, Barry Hayes, Bill Kalavriotis, Elisabetta Zanella, Goran Sekuleski, James Loder, Kanyanta Chipanta, Manuel Canestrini, Meron Tierney, Sharon Crabb, Stuart Mann, Will Chan
Construction Team: Multiplex
Structural Engineer: Irwin Consult
Building Services Engineer: NDY
Civil Engineer: Irwin Consult
Geotechnical Engineer: Douglas Partners
Sustainability (ESD) consultancy: NDY
Building Surveyor: PLP
Accessibility Consultant: du Chateau Chun
Acoustic Consultant: Marshall Day
Landscape Architect: McGregor Coxall & Realm Studio
Signage and Wayfinding: Buro North
Traffic: GTA Consulting
Pedestrian Modelling: Arup
Wind: MEL Consulting
Façade engineering: Inhabit
Photographer: Trevor Mein, Peter Bennetts

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