Western Sydney University Bankstown City Campus

Western Sydney University Bankstown City Campus

Western Sydney University Bankstown City Campus

A Hybrid Vertical Campus Ecosystem

The HDR-designed Western Sydney University Bankstown City Campus refreshes the vertical campus ecosystem and 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 collaboration project between HDR, Lyons, Western Sydney 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 and has transformed Western Sydney into a thriving academic, innovation and research precinct.

Sensory Omniverse of Learning Experiences

The 18-story 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.

Utilizing computational analysis and generative design principles, HDR has created a sensory omniverse of learning experiences with diverse space typologies that prioritize agnostic and informal learning so students and staff can seamlessly switch between flexible learning modes.

A series of semi-enclosed cabins, cocoon-like reading spaces and reflection huts enable focused or collaborative work, while the staff cabanas deliver the benefits of an open plan office in a more personalized space that caters to their workplace needs. In addition, the experimental and computational labs provide students with work-integrated, collaborative partnership opportunities with industry and enterprise.

From Campus to Country to Community  

Located on the traditional land of the Dharug people, the design of the 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 reimagined and transformed into a digitally manipulated, steel artwork in collaboration with industrial artists.

The re-envisioned Wall of Hands, with space to continue this tradition, is located within the beating heart of the new campus’ Student Hub, and the original wall now exists as a recycled sculptural seating arrangement at the Badanami Centre for Indigenous Education’s Yarning Circle. The design and implementation of these features were guided by the Western Sydney University’s Indigenous Elders Advisory Committee to ensure they respectfully aligned with Indigenous cultural protocols. The Badanami Centre Yarning Circle is a significant space for Indigenous students and the community to connect with culture.

Hundreds of hand-woven light pendants throughout the building, facilitated and collated by Koskela in collaboration with Indigenous artists, further connects the campus to Country and community.

Sustainable at Its Heart

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.

A Transformative Tertiary Knowledge Hub  

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 transdisciplinary innovation in a transformative tertiary knowledge hub. Not only is the building set to become a benchmark, world-class learning, education and research facility for the local Canterbury-Bankstown community, but it will transform the civic pride of Western Sydney for years to come.

Western Sydney University Bankstown City Campus
Western Sydney University

Sydney, NSW

285,243 sf (26,500 m²)
6 Star Green Star Rating


Award of Excellence (2023)
Sustainable/Innovation Development
Urban Taskforce Australia