A joint venture with Tzannes, this building near Parramatta Square and facing the historic Lancer Barracks, comprises WSU’s Engineering Innovation Hub on its lower levels and commercial tenancies above. Its design is the outcome of a limited architectural competition that included Cox Architecture, Woods Bagot, and Architectus.
The design elevates the building so that its soffit datum aligns with heritage buildings in Lancer Barracks and a historic corner hotel. The volume at the base is intended to one day connect the street in front through to the Barracks and beyond to Parramatta Square. It also opens onto a series of voids within the podium which reveals much of the workings of the innovation hub to public view both above and below ground level.
We placed the core along the eastern boundary to maximise a contiguous floorplate within a stepped constraint on the volumetric form. This led to a need to brace the western and northern facades for stability, introducing expressed structure and reinforcing the engineering identity.
Voids are carved into the northern face to bring daylight deep into the interior, provide garden terraces and blur the relationship between the higher and lower volumes, creating a relationship with the nearby heritage buildings.
Although there are distinct university and commercial entrances to the building, the foyer spaces flow into each other to mix students with corporate tenants and visitors, generating vibrant social activity. Parts of the ground level and an amphitheatre down to the level underground enable showcasing of university work to public view.
The building comprises approximately 30,440m2 GFA over 20 levels, with the Western Sydney University entering into a partnership with the University of New South Wales for part of the educational component.
Charter Hall + Western Sydney University