23 November, 2008

New College Village to open in 6 weeks!

: This is an old post, the NCV opened on the 5th January 2009

The New College Village is nearing completion. An update on progress:

  • The interior of the building is virtually finished with final touches being made to painting, furniture being installed, signage being added and systems being tested.
  • The main central courtyard and rooftop terrace are taking shape with tiling and planting to start soon.
  • The external finishes are within 2-3 weeks of completion with the wonderful eatern glass facade the last element to be completed (should be in 2 weeks).
The building is looking magnificent with daily comments being made by everyone who sees it. As I wander the corridors I can envisage our vibrant community using the many great spaces that we've created. I'm also reminded that every part of the building has its own character and outlook - there are lovely views from every side of the building.

Here are some photographic highlights.

Above: Aerial shot of the Southern Facade from the L5 building (city skyline in background, 5km away)

Above: Close up of the southern facade

Above: Northern facade viewed from NIDA

Above: Rooftop terrace nears completion

Above: Inner central courtyard taking shape


06 November, 2008

Choosing your room @ NCV

1. How to choose your room?

Numbers of people have been asking for advice on which room or floor to choose in the New College Village. This is a hard question to answer because every part of the building has its own character, aspect and attractions. A few basic points to make:

  • All apartments are of comparable quality - some of the large apartments have living areas that have slightly different configurations, about 25% have balconies, and some bedrooms have balconies (at no extra cost). But essentially, the fit-out and facilities are identical in quality and inclusions.
  • This is a brand new building so every resident will be the first to use the rooms.
  • Every bedroom is air-conditioned and rooms that face western sun have awnings that can protect from any summer sun.
  • Every floor has more than one common room, at least one of which has a large flat screen television and both free to air and cable television.
  • Every room has access to high speed broadband internet.
  • Every floor has wide corridors and many other design features.
  • The building is thermally and acoustically well designed - so heat and noise will not be a problem even though the building is located ion a city environment.
  • Every floor has access to 2 elevators and three sets of stairs.
  • Every floor has a Senior Resident who is there to help build the community.
Some people have been asking whether the top floor could be hotter? The answer is no, the floor has well insulated ceilings and air-conditioning. An added advantage is that it has the best views.

Some have wondered whether some sides of the building will be more noisy. The answer is they shouldn't be because even on the side nearest to the busiest road the building has been designed to avoid this problem with a wonderful glass screen (that you can see through), which acts as an additional sound barrier. This is a feature that no other apartment block or accommodation has on this campus. Even rooms on the front side of the building have specially designed clear glass sound screens (see the photograph below). The building is very quiet inside with double walls throughout and extensive insulation.

Above: View of the South East corner (note glass sopund barriers on front windows)

2. So what are the special qualities of specific parts of the building?

I'll try to offer my insights into the building. Here are a few examples of floors and locations that are different and why.

(i) Apartments on the SE corner

While these apartments are on the busier Anzac Parade side, only one room in each apartment is on the road side and these rooms have windows facing away from the road. From the balconies off the living rooms you have great views across to the Village Green. Many studios on the eastern side of the building also have similar views and some have balconies. All have the advantage of the Glass screen to the front of the building with nice views of the campus and the private inner courtyard below.

Above: View from an apartment balcony on the SE corner

(ii) Apartments on the North West corner

These apartments have views to the leafy suburbs of Kensington or towards the city. They have some of the best city views in the buiding with most of the city skyline visible from many rooms. The pictures below show a typical city view from the top few floors and the second photo shows a view of the suburb of Kensington from the 4th floor (excuse the dirty window in this incomplete apartment).

Above: View from a North West facing apartment

Above: A 4th floor view to the West from an apartment living area.

(iii) Apartments on the South West Corner

What I like about the apartments on this side is that they have views over Kensington and on the top floor right to Botany Bay. The rooms also have bedrooms with nice views to the south and west.

Above: A typical view to the south west from apartments on the 4th to 7th floors

3. Other features worth noting in other building locations

There are also great advantages in being on other specific floors depending on your tastes and needs. For example:
  • Studios and apartments on the ground floor have the advantage of being close to the two key courtyards, the Main Common room, the games room, the business centre, reading room and offices. It's also a quick few steps to the convenience store in the building.
  • Studios and aprtments on the 4th floor have access from their corridors directly to the rooftop terrace with view of the city, outdoor furniture and built in barbeques.
  • North facing 2nd and 3rd floor stuidos will have the advantage of winter sun.
  • Some rooms face inwards to views of the inner courtyard while some face outwards to the various views mentioned above.
4. A few final points

I'm confident that there will be a room location to suit all people in this building and that you will almost need to live in the building to make your choice as to which is the 'best' location. Frankly, I don't think there is a BEST location, just DIFFERENT locations, all of which have many special qualities.

While we will endeavour to meet your requests, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to give you a room exactly where you want it. Of course after you've been with us for a session we may be able to move you if you decide you'd like to be in a different location within the building.

I'm confident that you'll love living in this bulding, I'm looking forward to doing so. I'll be on the ground floor facing south.

01 November, 2008

Why I'm going to Live at the NCV in 2009

Above: My wife Carmen (left) with me and the Governor of our State (NSW) Dame Marie Bashir, at a New College dinner

This is a brief post to introduce myself as Master and the Dean of the NCV in 2009. I am Master of New College and will responsible for both the old 'New College' and the new NCV. But in 2009 I intend to act as Dean of the NCV as well. My wife Carmen and I will be moving into the Dean's Apartment within the building in late January. We're excited about being part of this new community.
Below: Carmen reading to our grandaughter Elsie
Carmen and I have been maried for 37 years in January. We have two daughters (both married) and 5 grandchildren. There's a good chance you'll see my grandchildren at some stage around the NCV. They are aged 2 months to 6 years, and needless to say, I think they're wonderful. Carmen was trained as a teacher and spent almost 30 years teaching infants and primary-aged children. In more recent years she spent 5 years in a pastoral care role within our church; a role in which she gave care and support to people with varied needs and of varied ages. She 'retired' from full-time paid work about 7 years ago and now spends a lot of time in voluntary work, doing things in our church and caring for our daughters, grandchildren and me!

I started life as a teacher too and became fascinated by the way children learn, especially the way they learn language. I then moved to University education where I spent over 20 years as a professor and senior University manager before moving to New College in 2002. My last role before coming to New College was as Pro Vice-chancellor (Research) at another university where I was responsible for the university's research and postgraduate studies. At UNSW I have an adjunct appointment as Professor within the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and am still active as a researcher and a scholar (in my spare time!) and supervise doctoral students at UNSW (you can check out my work at my personal website here).

Carmen and I are both keen to live in the NCV because we both want to be involved in forming what will be a wonderful community (see my earlier post on this here). I will do a post soon on some of the activities we have planned for in 2009. We look forward to meeting all of our residents in January to March. If you haven't applied yet, could I encourage you to do so as son as possible (online applications here).

Above: With Samuel (one of my grandsons who is aged 3 years) at a local wildlife park getting up close to a Koala