Intuitive design helps Monash reinvent the university landscape
The award-winning design for Monash University’s Caulfield campus possesses an interactive and vibrant aesthetic, inviting people to study and socialise.
As part of the masterplan for Monash University’s Caulfield campus, lighting design practice Electrolight illuminated the project. Working alongside landscape architects Taylor Cullity Leathlean (TCL), the team from Electrolight brought safety and all-hours use to the forefront of the project while maintaining design excellence and sustainability.
Electrolight’s head of design Jess Perry, explained that creating a high-quality urban realm with memorable and distinctive landscapes was a priority: “TCL’s design has transformed the previous campus landscape into a series of defined zones that offer students spaces for the exchange of ideas, socialisation, imagination and reflection,” said Perry. “The lighting design has been developed to seamlessly integrate with the landscape as well as enhance the night-time user experience by using illumination to craft a journey through the campus.”
Artful illumination of main thoroughfares and night-time breakout areas provides intuitive pathways throughout the campus, crossing the new event lawn and adjacent terrace – now the centrepiece of the campus. The slightly sunken lawn is a platform for events throughout the year, while simultaneously providing a place for students, staff and visitors to dwell. A central water spine – doubling as a storm water treatment and harvesting system – reflects Monash’s work on water-sensitive cities, while also giving a nod to the original wetlands that occupied the area.
Inground ETC340 LED luminaires were used to effectively highlight and enhance
the texture of the cladding of the sound-shell structure that forms part of the landscape
The primary elements that made up the Monash University Caulfield campus project were: The Walks – two walkways that provide links through the campus; The Water Feature – a strong landscape element that borders one the main walks; The Terrace – a deck area with plantings, which provides a causal breakout and eating zone; The Green – a reasonably large grassed area used for casual activities; and The Field – a dedicated multi-use sports area with bright blue rebound ace and basketball half-courts, badminton and foosball tables.
Functional lighting was a requirement for The Walk, Terrace and Field areas, with highly efficient lights using the latest in LED technology being used to provide the required brightness. WE-EF RFL530 luminaires, supplied by Buckford Illumination Group, were mounted in a back-to-back arrangement, with [S70] side-throw optical lenses, to illuminate the pathways. The [A60] forward-throw lens was used to light a portion of the sports field. An array of FLC121 LED projectors was discretely located above building parapets to illuminate smaller pathways, while ETC340 LED inground uplights illuminated selected feature trees and effectively highlighted and enhanced the texture of the cladding of the sound-shell structure that forms part of the landscape.
“The recreational sports area was successful in that the lighting infrastructure formed part of the landscape rather than being traditional four poles per activity approach,” explained Jess. “We were able to move away from a more traditional technique, as we had the support of the client for a more theatrical lighting approach rather than a flood-lit one. We designed a series of bright blue bespoke light poles (to match the rebound ace), which rise out of the ground and then angle quite sharply to the side to achieve this,” he said.
The implemented lighting scheme by Electrolight enhances TCL’s landscape design, which establishes connectivity between the surrounding campus buildings and transport hubs while providing ample ground for the gamut of activities requiring outdoor space.
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