Multiplex and UNSW further partnership with engineering building expansion

by FM Media
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Leading global contractor Multiplex has been appointed to deliver the University of New South Wales’ (UNSW) new $174.4 million Science and Engineering Building (SEB), continuing the expansion of the world-class Physical Sciences Precinct at its Kensington campus.

Prominently situated on the corner of International Road and Third Avenue within the UNSW campus, the new SEB represents stage two of the Materials Science and Engineering Building, now known as the Hilmer Building.

Designed by architects Grimshaw, the SEB will span 10 levels and provide 24,000 square metres of state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities to the School of Chemical Engineering and the School of Chemistry, with the flexibility to accommodate a range of technical research requirements. Importantly, it will be connected to the Hilmer Building, enabling facilities to be easily shared between the two buildings.

“We are delighted to continue our ongoing collaboration with The University of New South Wales and play a pivotal role in creating these world-leading research and education facilities,” says David Ghannoum, New South Wales regional managing director at Multiplex. “Our previous work with the university has given us the credentials to deliver these highly technical facilities in an active campus environment.”

UNSW’s 2025 Strategy is to provide a world-class research environment with cutting-edge facilities, provide a space that supports investing strategically in core research infrastructure and expanding scale and capability, and provide an essential component in an outstanding set of connected places where people can come together to innovate transform, learn and contribute to society.


The SEB has been designed as a consistent extension of the Hilmer Building and will include a flexible laboratory core, with modules arranged around a central service corridor. Workstation and office accommodation will be provided around the perimeter of floor plates in the new SEB with the same specifications for joinery, wet areas and finishes as the Hilmer Building.

Importantly, the SEB basement is designed to be multi-purpose and provide functions including storage, contemporary interactive and collaborative teaching spaces and student-led study spaces. An expanded basement area will provide new performance spaces for the School of Arts and Media.

“‘We are delighted to be embarking on another partnership with Multiplex at the University of New South Wales, following our highly successful collaboration in delivering the Hilmer Building,” says Michael Janeke, Grimshaw principal. “The addition of the Science and Engineering Building, together with the Myers Dance Theatre and adjacent Alumni Park will consolidate our joint ambition for the revitalisation of the lower campus, creating a multi-disciplinary learning community in service to a world-class university.”

engineering building

A key element of the project is the enhancement of pedestrian movement paths and integration with the Sydney Light Rail to be constructed on Anzac Parade.

The SEB will be located on significant pedestrian traffic routes, connecting the future Light Rail Stop on Anzac Parade with the upper campus. In addition, the SEB project will also provide enhanced links from High Street through to the University Mall.

Multiplex has delivered several new facilities at UNSW in recent years, including the University Terraces student accommodation, the Materials Science and Engineering Building Hilmer Building, and the Tyree Energy Technologies Building.

Construction of the new SEB is scheduled for completion in January 2019.

Multiplex also recently completed the new $125 million Biological Sciences Building, with classes commencing in the building in July 2017. Read FM‘s coverage of Multiplex’s Biosciences Building.

Images courtesy of Multiplex.

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