HDR-Designed Bankstown City Campus Delivers Transformative Tertiary Experience for Western Sydney University
HDR, in collaboration with Walker Corporation and Lyons, has designed Western Sydney University’s new 285,243-square-foot vertical Bankstown City Campus as part of an AU$340 million investment that cements Western Sydney’s transformation into a thriving academic, innovation and research precinct.
HDR’s architectural fit-out and the Lyons-designed base build not only refreshes the vertical campus ecosystem but employs a hybrid “omniverse” model that will propel tertiary education architecture for years to come.
Occupied by the next generation of researchers, educators and students, the project between the University and Walker Corporation brings up to 10,000 students, 1,000 staff and various industry partners together in a highly accessible, technology-rich learning and research environment that promotes universal collaboration.
Constructed by Built, the new 18-storey Bankstown City Campus, comprising nine levels for education and nine levels for industry collaborators, features 32 agnostic, scalable learning and research studios and 25 different teaching modes that have been conceived using modular and highly adaptable data-driven design processes.
“We have created a sensory omniverse of learning experiences, so students and staff can seamlessly switch between flexible learning modes,” said Alex Wessling, HDR director and project lead. “These informal learning spaces deliver a distinctly student-centred, collaborative experience that meshes education with industry, community and culture.”
Located on the traditional land of the Dharug people, the design of the new campus is also a reflection and celebration of the cultural heritage of the diverse student population; past, present and emerging. The existing Milperra campus’ Wall of Hands, a 5-metre brick wall of Indigenous graduates’ painted handprints over the past 40 years, has been transformed into a digitally manipulated, steel artwork.
With a 6 Star Green Star rating, the sustainable campus design features an innovative thermal and rainwater system; Interface carpet made from ocean waste and recycled fishing nets; upholstery with recycled PET bottle fabrics; and Cradle-to-Cradle certified furniture and finishes.
“In a transformation from local council car park to campus, the dynamic vertical building is a facilitator for industry growth and enables cross-pollination of ideas and trans-disciplinary innovation in a transformative tertiary knowledge hub,” said Graeme Spencer, HDR principal of education and science, Australia.
For over a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans more than 11,000 employees in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.