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Fucking Finally

<p>Chelsea Cucinotta decides whether or not the new arts west justified tearing down a one-year-old building.</p>

Bachelor of Arts students will soon have their own student precinct again. Located along Professor’s Walk, sandwiched between the Baillieu Library and Babel, Arts West will be an interactive space for Arts students and is set to open in Semester Two of 2016.

So what should students expect from the new complex? Kylie Gillman from the Faculty of Arts says that the new building has an emphasis on interactive and collaborative learning, with a particular focus on object-based and media-based activities. The teaching and learning spaces available also feature a digital studio, which provides support services and technology for researchers, students, industry partners and professionals working on digital projects.

Specifically designed with Bachelor of Arts students in mind, Arts West has made room for an additional 24 fit-for-purpose teaching spaces, enabling students to attend the majority of their classes in one place.

Second-year Arts student, Jane Lee, told Farrago, “I think logistically, Arts students will benefit, as classes won’t be as dispersed across campus. I still don’t think there are enough teaching areas though”.

This is not the only criticism. There has also been confusion regarding Arts West in the past. With parts of the building having previously been torn down, the new refurbishment will incorporate parts of the former Arts West, such as the building’s 1990s wing, which will become the new home for the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.

“Rather than tear down the newly refurbished north or west wings [of the past], the new building on the north has actually been built over the top of the existing ground floor and the north wing of the building is new from the first floor up,” Kylie Gillman said.

The student informal learning area and the Kathleen Fitzpatrick theatre are other spaces that have been retained from the previous Arts West structure, adding some familiarity to the complex.

The construction itself is demonstrative of the University of Melbourne’s commitment to environmental stewardship. Students can expect a precinct targeting a five-star Green Star Education Design rating, which, according to the fund manager of the Green Building Council of Australia, signifies that the building is ‘future-ready’.  

Arts West will be open to students from Semester Two, with the official launch on 16 September.

 
Farrago's magazine cover - Edition Three 2021

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