Architects submit heritage bid to thwart Griffith Uni demolition plan

“It was hemmed in by other, in my opinion, rather poor and insensitive buildings,” said the award-winning architect.

“My brainchild [to lure students into new ways of thinking] was totally destroyed. »

Mr. Simpson is furious with the university’s upper management for his building plans.

“If Griffith University itself is doing what it is doing, then clearly it has no idea of ​​the value of the buildings and the potential heritage value of the buildings they started ages ago. many years.”

The university’s vice-chancellor and president, Professor Carolyn Evans, said she was aware of the heritage request to protect the original environmental science building.

The original Australian Environmental Studies building was designed to blend in with its bush surroundings.Credit:Jim Gall

She said the university has reviewed the heritage aspects of the building and will go through the process of applying for heritage listing before plans for the new building are finalized.

“Staff and students are very excited about the new building, as it means they are learning and working in a world-class facility that will replace more outdated accommodation,” Professor Evans said.

“We have spent a great deal of time in the design phase of this project to ensure that the building will meet the needs of our staff and students supporting globally recognized research, teaching and learning.”

She said the move was part of a billion-dollar infrastructure plan — announced in 2019 before COVID-19 — to close her Mount Gravatt campus and focus on the Nathan campus and a new CBD campus. for 3,500 students above the new Roma Street station by 2027.

The two architects who filed the heritage application say the original Australian Environmental Studies building should be added to Queensland’s heritage list because it has developed a sense of ‘sustainability’ for cost-benefit analysis and decision-making. decision.

Laurie Jones and Jim Gall – both former students – say the original building marks a shift from ‘sandstone universities’ to ‘flat glass universities’.

“As a base facility on a campus planned for the state’s third university and home to Australia’s first interdisciplinary studies in environmental science, it marks a turning point in the 1970s in traditional ideas of ‘universities of sandstone” into “flat glass universities,” where teaching styles align with modernist architecture,” their submission reads.

A petition has also been launched in support of the legacy app.

“Is the teaching of environmental science and sustainability at Griffith University of value when the university cannot move away from materialism, consumerism and a craze for new things? , the technologies that will soon be outdated? it says.

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