Winner 2015

Award for
Education or Healthcare Structures

Project Description

The Melbourne School of Design was commissioned via an international design competition in 2009. A key element of the brief was “Built Pedagogy”, the concept that the building itself would teach the students about design, structure and construction. To this end, the team adopted a carefully considered program of exposing a number of key structural elements. The building achieved a 6 Star Green Star Education Design Rating and was the first in Australia to achieve all available innovation points. It was also delivered on budget and four months ahead of program.

Judge’s comments

The judges were very struck by this unusual building which was designed specifically to teach the students about design, structure and construction. So the principal structural materials, wood, steel and concrete, are all deployed to demonstrate their qualities.  Wood is represented by a huge LVL roof to the central atrium; steel by a scissor staircase, and a three-storey high 12 metre cantilever; and concrete by exposed in-situ beams and post-tensioned slabs - a built dictionary of exposed structure.

Project overview

Structural Designer

  • Irwinconsult

Client Name

  • University of Melbourne Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning


  • Melbourne, Australia


  • John Wardle Architects and NADAAA in collaboration

Year Submitted

  • 2015

Submitted By

  • Irwinconsult