Phillips Smith Conwell

M13 Basement Collaborative Space – Griffith University






Mt Gravatt, Queensland


Phillips Smith Conwell

The brief was to refurbish an existing, unused, bland and outdated student basement into a collaborative student space for informal learning that provided an identity space for students on the campus.

The design response used a dark pallet to draw no attention to the lack of fenestration. This was highlighted by accents of colour in the furniture, natural timbers and lit graphical street-art to create a strong identity and depth within the small space.

The planning arrangement of the space maximised student numbers while providing flexibility of use with the loose furniture selection and created a variety of informal learning spaces for different postures, time frames of use as well as different levels of privacy.


Full height whiteboard walls were used to maximise collaboration and make the most of unused space while acoustic backed timber battening helped dampen noise within the basement.

The scheme minimised expenditure by maintaining existing mechanical services and ductwork, while exposing new ceiling services in cable trays which strengthened the raw aesthetic.