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Swinburne’s Next-Gen Student Hub

Image Credits: Swinburne University, Press Release
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The Swinburne University of Technology has partnered with the renowned architectural and design firm to collaboratively create the new Campus Heart. This multi-story development, situated at the Hawthorn campus, is set to serve as a dynamic hub for student learning and social engagement.

It is a pivotal component of Swinburne’s broader next-gen campus revitalisation initiative, encompassing eight transformative projects across its Hawthorn, Wantirna, and Croydon campuses aimed at enhancing the student experience.

The Campus Heart project will feature an array of co-working and digital hybrid workspaces designed to accommodate both individual and group study, alongside informal meeting spaces and covered outdoor areas to foster student interaction.

Additionally, the development will include event spaces capable of hosting Swinburne’s extensive calendar of engagement and advancement events on campus. The construction will be situated between the Library and BA buildings, strategically positioned as a central gathering place for students.

Swinburne’s Chief Operations Officer emphasised the project’s importance as the heart of student activity on campus. She noted the proximity to the library, which makes it a natural focal point for students. The revitalisation of this space aims to ensure its continued relevance and appeal to students for years to come, reinforcing the campus identity as a hub of technology and innovation. The inclusion of various usage options, from solo study to large-scale events, will provide students with diverse ways to engage and connect on campus.

Sustainability is a primary focus for the Campus Heart project, aligning with Swinburne’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2025. This commitment extends beyond waste reduction to encompass sustainable procurement, green travel, and improved building efficiency. During the co-creation process, student input will be sought to identify innovative ways to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources, minimise waste, and establish a productive, healthy, and sustainable environment.

The Group Director of Communities and Principal at the partnering company described the vision for Campus Heart as a magnetic environment designed to attract students and enrich their campus experience through collaborative learning opportunities and social connectedness.

The project will prioritise the health and well-being of students, staff, and visitors, offering ample amenities, environmentally sustainable design strategies, and an enhanced public realm. The goal is to create a sense of belonging that fosters networking, partnerships, and learning among students and staff, building an engaged and interconnected campus community.

The project also involves the relocation of the current Latelab study space to the nearby 27 John St building, next to the Advanced Technology Centre (ATC) building, making way for Campus Heart. This move is being undertaken collaboratively with students and Kosloff Architecture. The new Latelab and student hub will significantly expand the 24-hour secure space available for students to study and interact on campus. It will offer a range of solo and group study spaces, spanning four floors and including a student kitchen and outdoor area.

Design plans are currently underway, with approval expected from Swinburne’s governing body, the University Council, in late 2023. Once approved, the facility is anticipated to be ready for student use in early 2025, coinciding with the commencement of construction on Campus Heart.

The next-gen campus vision places students at its core and emphasises collaboration with the diverse student community. All eight projects within this initiative will align with student expectations for an enriching on-campus experience, considering their needs and priorities for working, studying, and interacting with peers.

Swinburne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education, Experience, and Employability highlighted the significant role of student involvement in shaping Campus Heart. She stressed the importance of student collaboration from the project’s inception, with a series of workshops, forums, surveys, and more planned to ensure the space enhances the Swinburne student experience.

Furthermore, Swinburne’s collaborative approach to next-gen campus projects offers unique opportunities for creating curricular and co-curricular experiences for students, aligning with Swinburne’s commitment to work-integrated learning and real industry exposure.

For students studying design, engineering, building construction, and related disciplines, projects like Campus Heart provide invaluable hands-on learning experiences that prepare them for dynamic and fulfilling careers upon graduation.


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