BRISBANE – The University of Queensland Architecture Department has been remodelled for greater connections between academics, architects and students. The existing architecture school is a brutalist concrete structure from the 1970s designed by Nutter Stevenson and Partners. The team at M3 Architecture decided to reference the age of the building by employing vibrant super graphics for the interiors, taking visual cues from a poster designed by Pancho Guedes, a Portuguese architect known for his painting, sculpture and brutalist architecture of immense character. 

Internal and external connections are made by having no edge between adjoining spaces and opening up the envelope to the leafy surrounds, letting nature in. Previously there were no views and only rooms with a single purpose. The architecture firm’s design aims for flexible spaces that support the social and collaborative nature of architectural education. The project crosses two levels of the existing building. Upstairs has a flexible studio, lecture and seminar space, as well as a making and fabrication space. Pancho Guedes’ poster represents chance meetings, shared ideas and joy. The architect designed, with these ideologies in mind, a communal kitchen for visitors, lecturers and students to share.

Visuals of faces, eyes, colours, numbers and geometry are applied on the surfaces of the interior spaces to give a brutal building vibrancy and character. A contemporary twist similar to Pancho Guedes’ approach to his fruity brutalism. The environment might help keep students awake all night when working to a deadline.

Photos courtesy of M3 Architecture/Brett Boardman