Lead architects and engineers are being sought to design a landmark university campus in Perth that will form the central point of the Perth City Deal and help to position the city as a city for the future.

Edith Cowan University has released Expression of Interest invitations seeking a lead architect along with lead design engineers for its $695 million ECU City Campus.

Set to cater for more than 10,000 students and 1,500 staff, the new facility will feature a vertical campus at Perth City Link next to Yagan Square.

The site adjoins Perth Railway Station, which is the major train hub for the city and Perth’s major bus hub, on the newly developed link between the CBD and the entertainment district of Northbridge.

It’s a five-minute walk from the city’s cultural precinct including the State Theatre Centre, Perth Cultural Centre, Art Gallery of WA and the new WA Museum.

The new campus will feature schools, programs and initiatives including the Western Australian Academy of Performing Act; Founding Pianos; Arts, Design and Communications; WA Screen Academy,  broadcasting, Kurongkurl Katitjin (a Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research); business and law and technology and cyber security.

The project is the centrepiece of the Perth City Deal recently agreed between the Commonwealth Government, WA Government and the Perth City Council.

As part of that deal, the Commonwealth Government, State Government and the university have committed for the university to  move its business and law schools along with its world class Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts into the new CBD campus.

ECU is contributing $300 million to the project, while the Federal Government will contribute $245 million as part of the Perth City Deal. The State Government is providing in-kind support through the provision of land.

Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan said the campus will be a landmark project that represents the future of inner-city university education and enlivens the city experience while creating thousands of jobs, and supporting the WA economy.

“This project will support more than 3,000 jobs during construction and will support the state in its efforts coming out of the pandemic to build WA back up and create vital infrastructure for generations to come.”

Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the campus will see thousands of students flooding into the city and injecting more life, vibrancy and dollars into the city centre and its local businesses.

ECU Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve Chapman said the university would consider lead architects and engineers with both local and international expertise for the roles.

“Given the level of ambition, combined with the complex and multi-faceted nature of the project, we expect the Lead Architect will leverage international networks and knowledge to ensure ECU attracts the best advisors to deliver a project of international significance,” Professor Chapman said.

“We want this campus to be highly innovative and inclusive, where the transition between the university and the city is seamless, promoting unprecedented levels of community interaction and engagement.”

ECU City Campus Technical Architect Geoff Warn said the new project would deliver significant opportunities for the successful tenderers.

“The Lead Architect and Lead Design Engineers will be tasked with the responsibility, and the opportunity, to produce their best work,” he said.

“It is the type of challenge that creative practices are trained for and dream about.

“This is the visionary project that Perth city has been wanting for a long time, which will have definite benefits for both the arts and business, opening up a world of new possibilities.”