The Incubator, Macquarie University

Macquarie Park, NSW

Designed to target entrepreneurs and start-ups

Constructed entirely from timber and erected in just 37 days, the Incubator is an inspiring new space for students, researchers, staff, entrepreneurs and start-ups. The single-storey building is purpose-built and designed using modular construction techniques, allowing it to be disassembled and relocated at the end of five years. It consists of two pavilions linked by a corridor, incorporating events and tutorial space as well as meeting rooms.
The total roof length is 20m with slender tapering Glulam roof beams spanning the event and tutorial space and cantilevering a further 3m over the perimeter veranda. The beams are supported by V columns of Victorian Ash. The roof timbers, shipped from Austria had to fit in 12m long containers, which presented challenges to achieve the many junctions required between Glulam beams. TTW engineers determined the optimal solution involving internal flitch plates with steel dowels.
This striking building is seen by the university as the first step in the establishment of the Macquarie Park Innovation District – intended to harness the area’s potential as a world-class, collaborative ecosystem and innovation centre.

Client: Macquarie University

Architect: Architectus

Builder: Lipman, Strongbuild

Value: $8M

Completion: 2017

Sector: Universities

Services: Timber, Structural, Façade


  • MBA National Excellence Awards – Tertiary Buildings – Up to $10M
  • 2018 Sustainability Awards – Education
  • Green Good Design Award – Research + Technology category
  • World Architecture Festival – Higher Education and Research Building Finalist
  • AIA NSW – Education Architecture – William E. Kemp Award
  • AIA NSW – Sustainable Architecture – Commendations
  • Overall Winner of the 2018 Learning Environments Australasia’s 11th Annual Excellence in Educational Facilities Awards
  • INDE. Awards Official Winner 2018 – The Learning Space award
  • Learning Environments Australasia Excellence in Educational Facilities Awards – New Construction / New Individual Facility over $8 million
  • Australian Good Design Award -Architectural Design Category
  • ACSE Awards – Excellence in Structural Engineering – Medium Building Projects
  • Property Council of Australia – Finalist for Project Innovation
  • Australian Timber Design Awards – Excellence in Timber Design – Innovative Structural Design
  • Australian Timber Design Awards – Excellence in the use of Timber – Engineered Timber
  • Australian Timber Design Awards – Excellence in the use of Timber  – Timber Panels
  • Australian Timber Design Awards – Excellence in the use of Timber  – Timber windows and doors