Leading Australian and international architects are set to design the first comprehensive university campus to be built in the Perth CBD as part of a project which is set to transform the Western Australian capital’s city centre.

In its latest announcement, Edith Cowan University (ECU) says it has awarded the design contract for its $695 million ECU City Campus to a consortium consisting of Australian architectural firm Lyons, Perth-based Silver Thomas Hanley and international architects Haworth Tomkins.

Set to cater for 8,000 students and 1,200 staff upon its opening in 2025, the new campus is the centrepiece of the $1.5 billion Perth City Deal struck between Governments and industry partners to reinvigorate the Perth CBD, and will deliver a world-leading campus for creative industries, business and technology.

It will feature a vertical campus in the heart of the Perth City Link, directly across from 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 will be 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.

A key feature of the new campus will be the university’s world class Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, which will join Perth’s leading arts and cultural precinct and will deliver more than 300 public performances to the arts calendar each year.

This will include live performances such as stage, music and dance along with exhibitions and art shows.

There will also be world class production and design training for live theatre, events, film and television.

The new campus will also feature:

  • Creative Industries education — from visual arts to documentary making, advertising to fashion design, broadcasting to journalism, as well as programs from across the School of Arts and Humanities
  • Founding Pianos
  • The Western Australian Screen Academy
  • The university’s School of Business and Law
  • Technology and cyber security programs
  • Kurongkurl Katitjin, the university’s Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research

Overall, it is expected to deliver more than $7.5 billion in economic value over the long term as the influx of students and the large number of performances and events helps to re-energise the city and bring residents and visitors back into the CBD.

The consortium selected to design the campus will deliver a combination of local knowledge and international expertise in higher education facility design.

Lyons, fore example, is recognised for its designs at universities including RMIT in Melbourne and the flagship STEM precinct at the University of Newcastle.

Perth-based architects Silver Thomas Hanley, meanwhile, designed ECU’s Joondalup science building – which features the world’s largest periodic table.

Internationally, Haworth Tompkins is renowned for its creations in performance spaces including the revitalisation of The National Theatre in London.

The consortium has commenced work on their designs.

Other appointments also announced include:

  • Global engineering company Stantec, as Lead Engineer for Civil, Structural and Building Services.
  • Marshall Day to carry out the City Campus’ acoustic engineering.
  • Urbis to lead the town planning.

Quantity surveying firm Donald Cant Watts Corke is already working on site.

ECU Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve Chapman welcomed the appointments.

“ECU City Campus is transformational not only for our university, our students and staff, but for Perth. The new campus will represent the future of university education and is one of the state’s largest and most exciting building projects,” Chapman said.

“Lyons, in partnership with Haworth Tompkins and Silver Thomas Hanley, will bring a combination of local knowledge, design leadership, renowned expertise, and world-leading specialist capabilities that will capture our ambition and ensure the seamless delivery of the project.”

Construction is set to commence in 2022 whilst the campus is slated to open in 2025.

All up, 23 Australian companies will be involved (mostly Perth based, whilst the project will support over 3,000 construction jobs and 380 ongoing employment opportunities.

The new city campus is being is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($245 million), the Western Australian Government ($150 million) and ECU ($300 million).