149 Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove
Fixed Lump Sum
$1M - $3M
Connection to Country
QUT’s Oodgeroo Unit is committed to developing better access to university education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and promoting higher levels of participation in tertiary education.
With the traditional relationship between land and people in mind, our Brisbane construction team took on a project to reconfigure and re-imagine the teaching, staff and student spaces at Oodgeroo.
Working at two sites alongside QUT, BVN Architects and engineers from Bligh Tanner, we oversaw the demolition of original office spaces, the development of computer teaching labs and a dedicated new office facility for the Oodgeroo Community Unit at the QUT Kelvin Grove campus.
More than bricks and mortar
Through its Campus to Country strategy, QUT aspires to be a university of its place – reflective of culture both past and present, embedded in country and curated by and for the community. This approach provided an overarching framework for the Oodgeroo design and consultation process.
A significant part of this strategy is about fostering a deeper understanding and recognition of this connection, particularly with regards to the significance of the land where QUT now stands.
Like QUT, we share a commitment to establishing long term relationships with the Indigenous community as well as respecting the customs and practices of Indigenous people and their communities. Our Ganbu program reflects this commitment to creating equal opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
Our team appreciated the cultural sensitivity of QUT’s Oodgeroo project at every stage and applied our capabilities to be clear on the brief and the process for execution.
Design elements both inside and outside the upgraded facilities were heavily influenced by Indigenous culture. An example is the communal outdoor meeting areas, which reflect the importance of gatherings and incorporate a circular design around a ceremonial ‘fire pit’.
Around the facility, native plants and original artworks developed specifically for the Oodgeroo Unit, strengthening the connection between Campus and Country.
Reimagining and rebuilding
Keeping the Campus to Country connection in mind, our team completed demolition works as well as fitouts for a new student computer lab and community unit. Indigenous artworks were positioned throughout the facility and we also installed internal partitions, glazing and doors, fixtures, and joinery.
Extensions to the outdoor terrace included a fully roofed area and an outdoor bbq, and we added a new communal courtyard/outdoor space. A fully enclosed maintenance workshop and landscaping works completed the outside areas.
Our construction team worked on FF+E, mechanical, electrical, fire, security and hydraulic upgrades while also featuring design elements that reflect the heritage of Oodgeroo’s locations.
To finish the project, new entry and exit points were created, as well as a new doorway connecting to the external terrace.
According to Schiavello Project Coordinator Nik Klokov, "By demolishing, reimagining and rebuilding the Oodgeroo Unit at QUT, we were able to give the students a practical new computer lab and integrated spaces that help them to feel comfortable and connected while they are studying and interacting with others on campus."
Respecting the student experience
In addition to respecting the connection between Campus and Country, our construction crews were mindful of the need for quiet while learning and studying. To minimise the impact of noise and disruption, we scheduled works for weekends and non-teaching times when possible.
Completed in April 2021, the upgraded Oodgeroo facilities give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students secure 24-hour access to common rooms, computer labs, kitchen, tutorial rooms and printing equipment.
Featuring large windows, timber highlights, nature-inspired tones and unique Indigenous artworks, the spaces meet their objective to reflect local context and meet the current needs of the campus community.
20 years of building trust
We were very proud to take on this project as part of a lengthy relationship with QUT which has involved minor refurbishment works to large-scale multi-million dollar projects, and everything in between.
"2021 marks 20 years of partnership between QUT and our Brisbane construction team. The recent delivery of the Oodgeroo Unit shows our team’s commitment to QUT’s interests and processes. Repeat business with the same client for two decades is testament to how we operate,” says QLD Construction Manager, Philip Harcourt.