The Kwong Lee Dow Centre


The Kwong Lee Dow centre is a multipurpose learning environment that caters to the contemporary needs of student and university alike by combining detailed student spaces with highly flexible learning environments that can be modified from large-scale examination venue, to intimate learning environment at the touch of a button. Smart storage with reconfigurable furniture delivers an integrated facility of endless configurations to suit the changing and diverse needs of the University of Melbourne.

The Centre is a contemporary, light-filled environment that leverages several design innovations to maximise the student experience and facility operation requirements for mutual benefit. The facility provides for seven 42-person learning environments, or 300 exam seats supported by student common areas, a tiered bleacher entry from the street, amenities, a new plant room and facilitator’s room in the 2,000-square-metre footprint. Its form, driven by a biophilic approach, belies its rebirth from the University of Melbourne car park.

The incorporation of the common spaces supports people in a variety of modes – including last-minute study, socialisation, and for events and conferences. In the student spaces lighting is variable – allowing a variety of settings, providing choice and supporting individual needs. The custom specification ensures a distraction-free environment is maintained with the benefit of views out the windows. This former car park is now driving innovation in pedagogy, sustainability, campus arrangement and the facilities management of spaces for the university of the future.

Photography: Gallant Lee Photography.