Born out of the rapid population and geographic expansion of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Flinders University has always reflected emerging social, cultural and economic trends. The Bedford Park campus and its fundamental principles were radical in the context of Adelaide society. Its urban design and architecture and the interaction with the Australian landscape presented a fresh face to the world and created a distinct identity for Flinders University.
From the beginning, the Plaza and Union Building were places for the University community to come together, celebrate, relax, work and play. After an eventful 50 years, and in the changing face of University life, these spaces were no longer fully servicing the needs of the University community to their full extent. In 2014 Flinders University commenced a redevelopment of this campus heart into the brand new Plaza and Student Hub, realising the precinct’s capacity. The project involved a complete refurbishment of the Union building, extending it into the Central Library, a revitalised retail and entertainment precinct alongside, and a new front door to the University.
A comprehensive student engagement project was undertaken to determine the key needs of students and staff and to inform the concept design process, and these groups were consulted extensively throughout the build to ensure users’ needs were met.