Sydney, November 2017 – Royal Wolf, Australasia’s largest supplier of shipping containers, is taking the pop-up venue concept to a new level, showcasing the architectural versatility and sustainability of the humble container, in a large-scale retail and recreational development at Sydney’s Macquarie University campus. Earlier this year, the University commenced plans to deconstruct and then build an innovative new learning and teaching building with food and beverage offerings, as well as the first two of five student housing buildings.
The University needed a new area on campus for students and staff to eat, socialise and study during construction and contacted Royal Wolf to find a unique solution. Royal Wolf engineers built a temporary yet sustainable space – now known as the Campus Common - comprised of 60 modified containers, encompassing absolutely everything for food service areas, bars, spaces, cold rooms for bar service areas and food storage, as well as plant rooms, electrical and HVAC, and site infrastructure, waste removal and restrooms. Campus Common is designed by Architectus and was completed in collaboration with Fabritecture Australia and Grindley Construction. Neil Littlewood, CEO of Royal Wolf, said the company is thrilled to be involved in such a significant project that brings together all the creative modifications they have recently undertaken as the trend of using containers for non-traditional purposes continues to boom. “Our containers have been transformed into everything from festival food stalls and pop-up shops, to accommodation units, entertainment spectacles, and permanent retail spaces.
The Macquarie University Campus Common puts the skills of our engineers to the test by combining all of these functions into one,” said Mr Littlewood. Aaron Whitlock, General Manager Projects Division at Royal Wolf, said their team of engineers navigated multiple challenges throughout the project, to maintain the balance of modern design and structural integrity. “Our containers frame the spaces rather define them, being stacked off-centre rather than directly on top of each other, so we had to ensure solid roof support whilst also integrating plants, equipment and still remaining aesthetically pleasing,” said Aaron. One of the most exciting attractions on the campus is the Ubar, an expansive indoor/outdoor licensed bar, restaurant, food court, and central entertainment venue featuring a wood-fire pizza oven and boutique craft beer and ciders on tap.