Laboratories and Teaching Spaces for the School of Biological Sciences, UQ
Conrad Gargett has transformed two of the School of Biological Sciences out-dated laboratories into high quality teaching spaces which embrace the recent and rapid advances in biology.
The project delivered two entirely different interactive laboratory facilities, a high-tech PC2 wet laboratory and an interactive practical teaching space. The spaces have been designed to fill identified key gaps in the school’s upper level undergraduate teaching program. The new teaching facilities are located within the Heritage Listed Goddard Building (1956) which forms a part of the University of Queensland’s Great Court Complex.
The new facilities enable students to be instructed in modern biological techniques requiring a high level of containment. The spaces enable small group tutorial based instruction within the context of computer based learning. The aim was to provide, high quality, state-of-the-art teaching spaces that are future oriented and have the facilities and flexibility to teach 21st century biology.
In order to keep pace with the fast moving genetic and molecular biology disciplines, the design provides a flexible teaching space that incorporates the capacity to run modern molecular techniques (PC2 compliant), utilising cutting edge equipment and computing/data acquisition facilities which cater for small group, inquiry driven practical lessons. The wet lab has an anteroom and low light intensity room, whilst being supported by a modern, functional teaching preparation and storage area including a QIC 7.2 compliant PC2 arthropod quarantine room.
The interactive practical space provides an open tutorial orientated learning environment, where small groups of students can interact while undertaking a wide diversity of tasks, ranging from the viewing demonstration material and standard tutorial-based exercises, to group presentations, data analysis and report writing. Small groups of students seated within a module have access to integrated touch computing systems so they can directly interact, discuss and debate the exercises presented to them, and simultaneously relay their data to each node throughout the room.
The project’s construction was delivered in 12 weeks, during the summer teaching downtime. The key design drivers for the project were flexibility and interactivity.
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