The Curtin Medical School in Perth is setting a new benchmark for design of inspirational spaces for teachers and students.

The project has been named the best education building in Western Australia at the Master Builders WA Excellence in Construction Awards and received a Commendation in the Educational Architecture Category at the 2017 AIA Western Australian Architecture Awards.

Integrated design company GHDWoodhead was the lead design contractor for this transformative teaching and learning facility, as part of Curtin University’s master plan to build a City of Innovation at its Bentley Campus.

With a 60:40 ratio of informal to formal learning spaces, the building reflects the university’s vision to become a leader in education and research.

The key building design principles established by Curtin University and GHDWoodhead are activation, connectivity, permeability and flexibility. The building mass has been lifted to create highly transparent undercroft spaces, while the interior learning spaces provide transparency via extensive floor-to-ceiling glazing.

The building is rich in high-speed wireless connections and integrated audiovisual systems, enabling continued evolution of digital learning tools and resources.

Mike Buttery, GHDWoodhead Senior Architect comments, “The building envelope is formed from precast concrete panels, which ‘peel’ from the facade creating vertical shade fins. The resultant form is an articulated and adventurous texture, referencing the modularity, verticality and robustness of form prevalent in existing campus buildings.

“The interior design is anchored around the atrium stair and ‘fractal’ core, creating an effortless flow and dramatic connection between the different functional areas, which include numerous formal and informal learning spaces.”

GHDWoodhead’s scope spanned architecture and interior design, in addition to coordinating landscape, structure and services to provide an engaging and attractive environment for students and staff.


Photo courtesy of Douglas Mark Black Photography

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