Architectus-designed Macquarie University Incubator unveiled

9 October 2017

Architectus-designed Macquarie University Incubator, a hub for innovation, creativity, collaboration and entrepreneurial spirit, has officially opened within the burgeoning Sydney campus.

The Incubator, opened by HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York last month as part of his Pitch@Palace Australia event, was designed for rapid construction on site to provide the most minimal disruption to classes. It was completed within just five months of construction commencing.

The Incubator, prefabricated offsite, was conceived as a pair of pavilions, each with flexible layouts that lend themselves to the future adaptations and functions of the start-ups inside. The space comes together with a harmonious blend of timbers, creating areas that are tactile and characteristically warm.

Open spaces, breakout areas and smaller, private meeting rooms were designed to promote collaboration between individual start-ups and with each other, as well as allowing privacy to operate as their own business.

Architectus principal Luke Johnson said: “A place for start-ups to evolve their ideas and grow their businesses, the Incubator was designed to respond to the diverse and changing needs of its occupants, as well as two key aspects that informed the design of the space; a relocatable building and a short timeframe for its implementation.

“We looked to timber as the main construction material for its capacity to be beautifully engineered, swiftly fabricated to high quality, and for its potential for future dis-assembly and relocation.”

Architectus worked with partners including Lipman and StrongBuild to ensure the materials used provided an innovative approach to design, while offering potential for a very high degree of reuse should the building ever be relocated.

Sustainability was also a driving force behind the design. The Incubator includes a number of environmental features such as operable wall panels to facilitate natural ventilation, and self-reporting solar panels.

“The building explores principles of passive environmental control, such as cantilevering roofs to shade the double-glazed windows from excessive solar radiation, electricity generating solar panels on the roof and a monitoring system that provides feedback on the building’s use of energy,” Johnson said.

For more information on the Incubator, visit the project page here