Hawthorn Melbourne

Project Type:

New Campus





CIA were engaged in 2018 to begin the strategy for the brief through student and staff workshops in order to find and test spaces for a new campus in Victoria. Following the disruption and revisiting of needs thanks to COVID, the final campus was decided on in 2021.

As designers we felt it important to reflect what is on offer in Melbourne for students that differs from other Australian locations, which was of significance to the client in terms of attracting students to the facility. From the café culture to the gritty laneways and the rich colour palette of the wide-open spaces, our outcome at Hawthorn Melbourne greatly reflects the essence of studying in Victoria. CIA Designs created a coastal finishes colour palette inspired by the distinct landscape of the Great Ocean Road, which is a popular destination for international students. The breakout space combines this palette into an inspiring environment where students can make weekend plans to explore our varied state at the same time as enjoying the edgy, urban vibe of Melbourne. The edgy, urban feel is also displayed in the exposed ceiling and concrete flooring and seamlessly flows into the colour palette of the Victorian coastline in the student booths which feature tan pleather fabric with urban graphics attesting to the famous Melbourne laneways.
At 333 Exhibition Street the client required spatial efficiency and compliance as an education provider, and our challenge was to respond to this brief with the constraints of the floor plate and main entry points. A multi-functional student collaboration space is visible on arrival, giving new and potential students a taste of what it will be like studying at the new campus. The outcome is one which has invigorated students and staff alike.
Integral to the design is the dual arrival from both the central lift wells and the new stair connecting the ground floor. This waiting and greeting area needed an anchor between the dual arrival points which we achieved through an oval seating booth with integrated greenery and a parallel oval feature pendant light.

The overall design driver for the space was to make the students feel their campus was an extension of all that Melbourne has to offer.