Indicative functional area splits

The spaces within the building are being designed to suit multiple uses, spanning interaction, teaching and learning, workplace and research.

Subject to further refinement during the schematic phase, the split in areas will be approximately:

  • Interaction space 16%
  • Teaching & learning 25%
  • Workplace 24%
  • Research 35%

Interaction space

  • A ground floor forum with terraced internal amphitheater will accommodate functions and presentations of different scales.
  • The adjoining showcase space will accommodate formal presentations, events, and informal learning/breakout sessions.
  • A commercial café and bank of microwaves for staff and student use will enable casual interaction and collaboration over meals.
  • There will be facilities for industry engagement, visiting researchers, presentations, and wider University use.

Teaching and learning spaces

  • Teaching and learning facilities are distributed throughout the building.
  • Our vision is to build student culture by inviting and encouraging dwell and collaboration time on all levels of the building.
  • Based on NUspace as an exemplar, the teaching and learning allocation comprises of approximately 65% formal learning space such as classrooms and labs, and 35% informal breakout and collaboration spaces.
  • A makers / fabrication lab will be located on the ground floor, to put students’ work “on show”.
  • Formal student teaching laboratories will include for both wet labs (for biology and chemistry) and dry labs (engineering, maths, physics).  In providing for flexibility and adaptability of future teaching needs, all teaching lab spaces are wet or dry lab capable.
  • The formal teaching spaces are located on the upper levels of the building and will be provided with appropriate capability to deliver Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL).  These can accommodate diverse discipline teaching, and operate in multiple teaching modes, e.g. hands on exercises, simulation and virtual activities, student collaboration and focused instruction.
  • These learning spaces are designed to accommodate mobile furniture, allowing for multiple teaching modes to be carried out and to suit evolving pedagogies. Details will be refined during the Schematic Design phase.
  • The informal learning space allocation will incorporate a diverse range student centric spaces, including individual study pods, peer-to-peer, small group collaboration and wider social settings.


  • The workspace will accommodate multidisciplinary research teams.
  • The STEMM building will feature a highly integrated workplace, where staff are located near one another, team-based organisation is enabled, and there is a strong connection with research spaces.
  • We are currently reviewing and defining the University’s future workplace principles, which will be adopted within the STEMM building, as well as the wider STEMM precinct.
  • The building will provide a diverse range of settings, from solitary to collaborative, designed to suit different activities and modes of working.
  • The workplace is defined by three zones – workplace, informal breakout and collaboration rooms. It is open in nature, but with consideration given to storage, security and privacy.
  • A variety of meeting rooms will be provided, from large seminar/board rooms for up to 40 people, through to small Zoom (video conference) rooms for up to five.
  • A Scholars’ Lounge will provide quiet, individual work settings for staff and HDRs. This will be ideal for people not permanently housed in the building or for those seeking a focused and quiet lounge environment.
  • A Visitors’ Suite will provide a bookable workplace for important visitors.
  • Further collaboration rooms, intended to be shared between staff and students, will provide additional space for group project work and meetings.
  • Tea points will be provided on each level of collaborative workplace, with staff encouraged to take longer breaks and meals in the ground floor café/kitchen space.

Research spaces

  • We are developing generic, flexible laboratory spaces which can be readily adapted to meet the evolving requirements of interdisciplinary research.
  • We are still working through details around the types of research that will be prioritised in the space, but we know that preference will be given to highly integrated, interdisciplinary STEMM research.
  • By having labs and workspaces next to each other, we’ll be able to work more efficiently.
  • The labs run the full 71m length of the eastern wing of the building, and measure just under 20 meters in width.
  • To provide vibration control environments for sensitive equipment and research, each lab level will have a three structural bay allowance of an ASHRAE Curve D capability. This will complement the remaining 21 bays which will be of a standard research laboratory capability (ASHRAE Curve F).
  • Core platform technologies will be distributed among the three lab levels, with the largest allocation on the ground floor and further expansion being considered on the lower ground. This will place ‘science on show’.
  • We are still working through the full suite of core platform technologies that will be housed in the building, however so far we have identified: the Analytical and Bimolecular Research Facility (ABRF) and the Electron Microscope and X-Ray (EMX) units.
  • We are undertaking further investigation for very high vibration control floor slab (meeting ASHRAE Curve B requirements) on the lower ground floor, which will be able to house equipment such as an advanced microscopy suite.
  • Consultation with the University’s researchers will help inform these decisions.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.