Arts West heralds a new era for the Faculty of Arts

An exciting period for the Faculty of Arts began with the start of Semester Two and the opening of the new Arts West building.

Inside Arts West
Inside Arts West. Images: John Gollings.

This stunning five-star energy-rated building is located at the heart of the traditional Arts precinct on the Parkville campus, next to the Faculty’s historic home in Old Arts.

Arts West is a modern, open-spaced building that improves the undergraduate student experience. It provides greater access to informal learning areas, increased access to the University’s cultural collections, and dynamic teaching and learning spaces.

The new building is also home to the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, which houses some of the oldest disciplines at the University. These academic disciplines and their students will benefit from Arts West’s provision of the latest interactive and participatory learning spaces.

The new building’s visual impact is immediate, with representations of images from the University’s rich cultural collections. One of the feature images on the north façade is by Indigenous artist Tommy McRae.

The Faculty has also incorporated two object based learning laboratories into the design of Arts West, enabling staff and students to work with material collections in the classroom. Curators have also worked alongside staff to create cabinets of curiosities throughout the building, which build on the learning experience outside of the formal classroom.

Professor Mark Considine, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, said the entire building makes an impression both inside and out.

“The focus of Arts West on immersive, interactive and collaborative learning is unsurpassed in the Asia Pacific region,” he said.

“The student experience is at the top of our priorities and underlines the high international standing of our programs and research strengths.

“Arts West is an innovative, amazing and fun place that opens our minds to the rich possibilities of an Arts education.”

Professor Glyn Davis, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, said Arts West transforms the way humanities and social sciences are taught at the University.

It will be a true student hub, with 24 new teaching and learning spaces, a digital studio and a façade displaying images from our cultural collections Professor Glyn Davis, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Melbourne

“A key theme is connectivity, embodied here in the principle of interdisciplinarity, which informs teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences at Melbourne, and the significant connection the Faculty of Arts has to our University and city.”

Arts West was designed by the architectural teams of ARM Architecture & Architectus and was built in partnership with Kane Constructions.