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Architectural icon coming to life on the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is well on the way to having ‘its own architectural version of the Sydney Opera House’ in the form of an architecturally iconic building designed by internationally renowned CRAB Studios in London that will house the Bond University Soheil Abedian School of Architecture. 

Named after visionary Gold Coast architect and property development figure and long-term supporter of the University, Dr Soheil Abedian, the new headquarters for architectural students will become a Queensland icon.

It is due to be completed in mid-2013 and will be opened later in the year.

The  project has been designed by Sir Peter Cook and Gavin Robotham, of CRAB Studios, who won an international competition in 2010 to deliver the state of the art architectural school headquarters.

The design of the building is based on the premise that for students to achieve maximum creativity and benefit they have to be operating in a space that provides connectivity, a flowing fluid environment and an atmosphere of harmony and creativity.

The company charged with the responsibility of ensuring the CRAB Studios vision and dream becomes reality is ADCO Constructions Pty Ltd, a building company with whom Bond University has had a long term association with.

ADCO Gold Coast manager, Colin Kitto said there were considerable challenges in building the innovative and visually stunning structure.

“Features include an internal streetscape that runs the length of the building  and ‘scoops’ that provide individual workspaces for students to exhibit and critique their work, as well as dedicated environmental science laboratories,” he said.

The scoops that form an integral part of the interior are free form in shape, three storeys high and are a world first in terms of construction. They along with the design of the overall building provide a real-life case study for architecture students.

“The formwork design was undertaken in Germany with 3D modeling undertaken by CRAB Studio in London to show how they would function,” said Mr Kitto.

“They fit together in a complex design that is critical to the building’s structure.

“ADCO is the principal contractor for the project and during the construction phase it has created approximately 660  direct jobs and many more indirect jobs.”

Mr Kitto said one of the main construction challenges ADCO had faced had been turning into reality the complex and leading edge designs that CRAB had created.

He said ADCO Constructions had been associated with Bond University since 2003 and had been responsible for the construction of numerous buildings on campus.

“We have had a long association with the University and the School of Architecture building is the latest project we have undertaken,” he said.

Other projects undertaken by ADCO included the Bond Faculty of Health Science and Medicine; the School of Sustainable Development; the Balnaves Foundation Multimedia Learning Centre; the first and second stages of the Law faculty; the ADCO Amphitheatre; refurbishment of the library; the library annex; the facilities management offices and workshops and the architectural workshop.

Mr Kitto said the Soheil Abedian School of Architecture had been the most challenging project undertaken by them so far.

Bond University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Brailsford said the building has been designed to not only provide Bond students with a state-of-the-art facility that enriches their educational experience, but it is also intended to provide a creative space that inspires them and immerses them in the work they are learning about.

“Just as the Sydney Opera House has become an iconic building this structure will also gain a reputation as an architectural icon over the decades to come and I am confident that some of the world’s leading future architects will emerge from within its walls, scoops and flowing internal streetscape,” he said.

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