National Architecture Awards 2020: National Educational Architecture Award

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Jury quote

Curtin University Midland Campus sits in an area culturally rich with pre- and post-colonial stories about traditional Whadjuk country and among heritage railway workshops. Old and recent stories inform the design, which is designed as a solid object selectively sculpted to announce entry and reveal activity. Importantly, the solidity of the bold red brick facade dematerializes and opens up to outdoor spaces that clearly relate to Centennial Place, Blacksmith Lane and Helena River. The new health sciences building successfully reinforces the campus connection to the place through the harmonious confluence of public realm, architecture and art. The building is slightly ahead of the Blacksmith Lane railway workshops and the interior “street” of the public spaces is placed on this axis, allowing a strong dialogue between the new building and its urban context.

Passive solar design is intelligently applied to the interior and façade layout to ensure comfortable occupancy both indoors and outdoors – an important consideration for exemplary performance in the Australian environmental and cultural context.

The building design deliberately promotes occupant health and well-being, connection to the landscape, arid indigenous planting strategies and cultural sustainability through a ‘meeting place’ and increased indigenous representation – a perfect fit with the multidisciplinary health training program. The project successfully weaves bold new campus architecture into the fabric of a historic neighborhood, creating an authentic connection to the place and Indigenous culture.

Project credits

Architect Lyon with Silver Thomas Hanley; Group project James Wilson, Francesco (Tony) Di Leo; Builder PS structures; Landscape consultant Laboratory of the place; Regulatory consultant John Massey Group; Project Manager Johnstaff projects; Services consultant, EDD and ICT Wood and mourning Engineers; Civil engineer, structure, facade and circulation Steens Gray and Kelly; Quantity surveyor and cost consultant Ralph Beattie Bosworth; Audiovisual consultant ASC advice.

Curtin University Midland Campus is located in Midland, Western Australia, on the lands of the Whadjuk people of the Nyoongar Nation.

Source

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Architecture Australia, November 2020

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