Swinburne University of Technology, Factory of the Future

Location Hawthorn, VIC
Project Completion 2015
Project Size 700m2

Project Description The design of this innovative structure places a two storey high timber ball in the centre of the Factory space, to act as a divider, and accommodator, of interactive collaborative activities, as a symbol of the way of the future.


Its focus is a two storey timber ball, manufactured from a curved timber substructure covered with a panelised curved timber ply skin. These timber components were modelled, curved and cut using leading edge computer aided design and computer guided cutters, before being skilfully fitted into place by hand, creating a seamless appearance for this unique timber ball.

The upper internal level of the dome has been left deliberately raw and expressive of its construction, to reveal the true characteristics of its fabrication and structure. The outer timber shell is slick and machined while being warm and natural. This timber shell conceals and assists the engineered timber structure that allows the upper level to have a four metre cantilever for half its upper floor plan.


The outside timber structural plywood cladding shell is also tinted and sealed to resemble an egg, creating a tension of whether it is made by man, or by machine or by nature. The references to timber continue with the service feeds for the Factory being totems in clusters, like a special wooded treescape populating and servicing the Factory space.