Irwinconsult is pleased to announce that The Melbourne School of Design was recently awarded best education structure in the world at The Structural Awards 2015. It was one of just fourteen international projects to be honoured by Institution of Structural Engineers in London, where the annual awards ceremony celebrates outstanding achievement in structural engineering.
Following an international design competition in 2009 Irwinconsult was contracted to deliver structural and civil engineering services for the project. Central to the brief was the concept that the building would itself be a case study, from which students could learn about design, structural engineering and construction.
Irwinconsult worked closely with John Wardle Architects & NADAAA to deliver on the brief, through the expression of several key structural elements within the building. Timber, steel and concrete are each designed to demonstrate their structural and material qualities: a unique structural timber roof over the central atrium, from which is suspended a three storey ‘stalactite’ containing a series of studios, a dramatic steel scissor staircase, alongside exposed in-situ concrete beams and post-tensioned slabs that allow the building to perform significant floor spans and cantilevers. The result is what the awards jury called, “a built dictionary of exposed structure”.
Fourteen awards were announced on the night, recognising all aspects of structural engineering, from bridges and stadia to innovative housing and educational buildings. The winners were drawn from nine nations across five continents.
“We are honoured to win the Education or Healthcare Award, and hope that the new building inspires many generations of students to believe in the possibilities of structural engineering” says Barry Roben, Lead Structural Engineer on Melbourne School of Design.