Western Sydney University has officially unveiled its AU$220.5 million (US$163.9 million) flagship campus in the Parramatta CBD.
Opened by New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, the 14-story, five-star building will be the first vertical campus for the University, and the first of its campuses to be embedded in the heart of a major CBD. Named the Peter Shergold Building, the campus will be home to 10,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students from the University’s School of Business and other discipline areas.
The new addition boasts one of the most technologically advanced teaching and research spaces developed in Australia and across the world, and is also home to Australia’s largest professional services firm, PwC, and government agency, WaterNSW.
The building’s design, by Architectus, embraces a 21st century theme: architects dispensed with traditional lecture halls and encouraged innovation, interaction, and discovery through the use of smaller, informal learning spaces such as group study rooms with screen sharing and video conferencing and collaborative learning studios spread across six floors of the building.
The interactive and digitally-infused studios promote the “flipped classroom” model of group-based learning and include an extensive range of features such as writable walls and computers on wheels, through to high-tech cameras and interactive touch screens to allow students to share and compare work around the classroom.
More than 550 digital screens and information panels are located throughout the campus, including a 7.5-meter-by-1.5-meter curved LED information display that forms the centerpiece of the building’s lobby and can be viewed from any vantage point.
The campus also contains a digital way-finding system – “Campus Navigator” – which puts information at students’ fingertips via touch screens, providing them with real-time updates on everything from their classroom timetable and available PCs, to weather forecasts and the next bus, train, or ferry arrival.
The Parramatta City campus marks the completion of the first phase of the AU$2 billion (US$1.5 billion) Parramatta Square redevelopment – the largest urban renewal project in Australia.
For more on this story, go to The Urban Developer.