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AWARD // Curtin University Midland: WA Architecture Awards Winner

Lyons + Silver Thomas Hanley are thrilled to announce that Curtin University Midland Campus has been awarded The Hillson Beasley Award (Educational Architecture) and The Julius Elischer Award (Interior Architecture) at the WA Architecture Awards, 2020.

Photography: Douglas Mark Black

Curtin University's 'Midland Campus' is a 3,000m2 Health Sciences educational facility for multidisciplinary health training. The site resides near the confluence of the Helena and Swan rivers in a culturally rich area of 'pre' and 'post'-colonial histories. The design concept is derived from this rich indigenous and industrial heritage context of the Midland area, with its design and program also reflecting the project's role as a 'microcosm' of the facilities found in a larger campus setting.

Located on Whadjuk country, the project embodies the concept of a community meeting place with heightening indigenous representation through integrated public art, graphic totems, dual language signage and outwardly physical connections with landscape.

The extensive expression of traditional 'crafted' brickwork - reflecting the adjacent heritage rail workshops - alongside mass concrete elements, give the project a 'civic' reading in contemporary form, reimagining the monumental form and materiality of the 'mothership' Curtin Bentley Campus.

By working collaboratively with Curtins Indigenous Studies unit; the design mindfully incorporates key aspects to inspire a heightened representation of Indigenous culture throughout. Kya Wandju Wanju (Welcome) is embossed in the mass concrete entry beam, whilst interior elements echo the local flora and fauna.

The integrated public artwork (led by Nyungar artist Justin Martin with Milne & Stonehouse) tells the ‘NGOOK honey story’. Visually represented by a large-scale (12m x 6m) painting ceramically printed and experienced internally on the northern glass façade, and the hanging of a 'beehive' under a cantilevered concrete soffit. The story tells of Indigenous innovation, trial, and teamwork, reflecting the collaborative spirit of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

In addition to the awards received, we are proud to have had this outstanding project shortlisted for the Sustainable Architecture Award. The project achieved a 5 Star Green Star As-Built rating with University aligned sustainability features, and employment of design principles that promote health and wellbeing, so called 'salutogenic' design principles. Key features which helped achieve this include;

  • An installed 30kW Solar PV system,

  • High levels of daylight and clear lines-of sight to quality external views,

  • Over 58% reduction in the predicted energy consumption and GHG emissions,

  • Over 30% reduction in potable water consumption compared to the standard practice benchmark,

  • Premium end of trip facilities

  • An 'arid' native landscape strategy employed to reduce potable water use on the site

  • Careful planning of internal circulation to encourage he use of stair in lieu of lifts

  • 90% of waste generated from construction diverted from landfill,

  • Design philosophy centered on healthy and 'natural' building materials.

Lyons + Silver Thomas Hanley would like to thank Curtin University, PS Structures and all those involved in the delivery of this this incredible project.


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