Integrated design practice GHDWoodhead is the architect behind the new emblematic Curtin Medical School at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia.

GHDWoodhead provided a design that responds to the needs of the users and the local environment, in line with the vision of the Greater Curtin master plan initiative.

The challenging and ambitious design of Curtin University’s new Medical School pushes the boundaries and capabilities of the built form, making it truly distinct.

In addition to accommodating the new Curtin Medical School, the five-storey building is a landmark within the new northern precinct of the university’s Bentley campus.

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.

To enable flexibility and adaptation, the building is rich with audiovisual and networking systems, enabling continued evolution of digital learning tools and resources.

Ricardo Kiperman, GHDWoodhead Managing Principal in Western Australia, 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 the 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.

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