Continuing our long-standing relationship with Macquarie University, the new Law School cover an impressive 8,600sqm for aspiring new students.

The new home of Macquarie University Law School and Department of Philosophy, the Michael Kirby Building, opened in 2024 and embodies a bold vision for legal education at Macquarie University.

The Michael Kirby Building, named after the Australian jurist and the institution’s first Emeritus Chancellor, is a state-of-the-art facility on the Ryde campus, in Sydney, Australia. 

TTW is proud to have contributed Structural, Civil, Façade, and Construction Engineering expertise to deliver the new Michael Kirby Building at Macquarie University – combining exemplar state-of-the-art mass timber engineering and construction with adaptive re-use. The utilisation of lightweight and quick-to-construct mass timber was pivotal to project's success.

Located on the site was an existing three-storey reinforced concrete structure, originally built in 1985. A key constraint for the site, and its potential redevelopment, was the Epping to Chatswood rail corridor that runs directly below the building’s footprint. The impact on the rail corridor and the approval pathway with TfNSW was considered throughout all design stages of the project.

We provided design input to assist studies into use, cost, and programme feasibility for complete demolition and re-build versus partial retention and addition for the building. From the studies, it was determined that the most feasible pathway forward would be an adaptive re-use methodology for the site. The existing concrete was retained to the first floor, with three levels of mass timber being constructed in its place, adding an extra storey on to the building and enclosing the central courtyard to form a new atrium. The lightweight nature of mass timber limited the strengthening extent required to the existing concrete structure, and a careful load-balancing exercise was undertaken to demonstrate that the larger building would not impact the existing rail corridor, therefore streamlining the approvals process.   

Our engineering design services spanned all phases of the project, from initial feasibility, and conceptualisation to construction. TTW’s specialist timber engineering team provided valuable input through full design and detailing of the timber structure to ensure that the showpiece of the building was efficient, quick to install, and met the architects' and clients' vision for a beautiful mass timber experience for the occupants.

Client: Macquarie University

Architect: Hassell

Builder: FDC Construction

Value: $62M

Completion: 2023

Sector: Universities

Services: Timber, Construction Engineering, Structural, Civil, Facade