Melbourne-based John Wardle Architects has been selected to design Curtin University's new School of Design and the Built Environment in Bentley, Australia. The $110 million building will include five floors of open-plan work spaces for learning and teaching. The new School of Design will be the first piece of Curtain’s Exchange innovation precinct with 2,500 square meters of integrated spaces available for lease by commercial tenants.
At the center of the School of Design will be a large courtyard with room for retail and exhibition space. Inside, a series of mechanical, electrical and structural systems will remain exposed for architecture and design students to learn as a teaching tool. Research and teaching facilities are organized next to commercial spaces, as these will be spread across the first three levels and level five.
Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the new facility represents an exciting new paradigm for learning, teaching and industry as the first concentrated stage of development to be delivered in response to the Greater Curtin Master Plan. “Curtin’s new industry-connected precinct called Exchange reflects the University’s vision to serve as a catalyst for innovation by creating a hub that encompasses public spaces, commercial offices, speciality retail shops, new student accommodation, residential apartments, a boutique hotel, our new bus interchange at Curtin Central, and food and beverage outlets. The new home of Curtin’s School of Design and the Built Environment sets a sophisticated, forward-looking and sustainable tone as the first major development for Exchange, which has a development value of $500 million for stage one.”
Vice-Chancellor Terry said Curtin was also in the final stages of negotiation for the delivery and operation of the remaining development within stage one of the precinct. Lendlease Western Australian Building business general manager Chris Learmonth said that the firm plans to complete the building within two years. Learmonth said that, “This modern learning and teaching facility will play a critical role in bringing to life the University’s vision to become the epicenter of research and innovation in Western Australia."
Construction on the School of Design is expected to start this quarter.