QUT Equitable Access to P Block – Australia
QUT Kelvin Grove is an interesting campus with a rich variety of buildings on a steeply undulating site. This project provided a seamless and equitable access portal to both the International College down a steep and bush-clad slope, and to the existing bridge to B Wing. The modern and welcoming gateway structure and the new bridge and lift tower are examples of how a challenging and complex access hub can be made to look effortless, functional and elegant. Working with very difficult terrain and a complex web of access paths, steps, bridges and large trees provided an interesting challenge for the team at James Cubitt Architects. The requirement to provide equitable wheelchair access to the International College was also an opportunity to create a signature gateway to serve both the college and the various other buildings accessed from this point. A new free-standing lift is approached via a bridge, and makes the three storey journey to P Block a truly pleasurable and effortless one. Pivotal to the success of this project was for the onsite construction phase to proceed with minimal disruption to both the physical environment and to the daily operation of the campus. This was achieved through thoroughly considered design detailing, deft construction techniques, and an attentive design team during construction. The tower was constructed using precast concrete panels that incorporated both the waterproofing and structural requirements, and these were craned into position with precision and speed. The combination of natural and honed precast concrete, galvanized steel and prefinished panels provide an elegant and low-maintenance solution that will ensure the ongoing enjoyment of this facility by both the students and the QUT campus management team.