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Abedian School of Architecture

Crab Studio

Abedian School of Architecture
By Caterina Testa -

Located on Queensland’s Bond University campus, the Abedian School of Architecture was designed by CRAB Studio architects Peter Cook and Gavin Robotham after careful observation of university lifestyle patterns. Teaching experience at numerous international universities gave them all-important insights into how the building should be structured to accommodate those needs.
The new faculty is a theatre and stage on which everyday university activities unfold: student group work, tutor-led “crit” sessions, model and experimental project building, but also socialisation and the effusions of young couples.
The architecture celebrates and encourages the mix of diverse experiences, activities, ideas and people that come together on a university campus.
Entering the building and traversing its longitudinal interior route is to embark on a journey punctuated by the varying facets of university life. A wide porticoed entrance to the east invites people inside. From here a broad, gently ramping internal path courses east-west following the natural gradient. Along this internal corridor are niches and secluded corners - small chapels set into the walls of four reinforced concrete “scoops” extending vertically from the central pathway. Large slits and apertures fend the towering walls, allowing daylight to penetrate, and framing glimpses of the varied activities going on all around.
The upper levels overlook the central spine like balconies onto an urban thoroughfare that divides the building into two sections, north and south. On the south side, a series of “rafts” on several intercommunicating levels receives daylight from ample glazed lights; to the north, spaces are more enclosed and private, shielded from the interplay of views characterizing the rest of the building, and protected from the harsh Australian sunlight by small windows.
The building’s imposing, dramatically sliced, reinforced concrete...

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