The first designs for the Edith Cowan University’s (ECU) City campus have been unveiled, outlining how the campus will reshape the Perth CBD and further tertiary education opportunities in Western Australia.

Developed over two sites directly opposite Yagan Square and spanning Karak Walk, ECU City will include vast windows and galleries across 11 levels that expose cleverly stacked performance spaces, studios and state-of-the-art digital labs.

Opening to William Street Mall at Yagan Square, the university will offer new vibrancy through its dynamic digital media façade, and an immersive entrance that envelops Perth Busport, while activated streetscapes and lively common laneways will connect to Roe, Queen, and Wellington Streets.

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan says the new campus will completely reshape the city of lights.

“This is part of a once-in-a-lifetime transformation of our city centre, and will grow Perth’s reputation as an innovative and vibrant city,” he says.

“This project will create local jobs, activate Perth and deliver world-class university education in the CBD.

ECU City campus renders

“We believe ECU City will attract investment in Perth, boost the visitor economy, provide a boost for CBD businesses and further cement Perth’s reputation as a great place to live, work and visit.”

The campus will integrate creative industries, business and technology courses with ECU’s internationally recognised Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). Bespoke theatres have been designed to place Perth on the world stage.

ECU City campus is a key project in the $1.5 billion Perth City Deal, a collaboration between the Morrison Government and Western Australian Government to revitalise the Perth CBD. It will see more than 9,000 students and staff calling the campus home by 2025.

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, says the campus will be a welcome boost for the Perth economy in a time of uncertainty.

“The Morrison Government has committed $245 million for the new ECU City campus, which will not only bring together students, teachers and experts from across disciplines, but it will help reinvigorate the Perth CBD by creating an important feature in the city’s cultural landscape,” he says.

“The economic impact of the development will also be significant, with the project supporting over 3,000 jobs during construction and providing an estimated $1.5 billion boost to the WA economy over the next four years.”

With the Morrison Government committing $245 million for the campus, the Western Australian Government is providing $150 million, with ECU contributing $300 million. 

As well as the projected 3,000 construction jobs, ECU City campus will create more than 380 ongoing jobs.

ECU City campus renders

Professor Steve Chapman CBE, the ECU’s Vice-Chancellor, says the campus will be a flagship for tertiary education design.

“ECU City’s design, both physically and symbolically, reaches outwards, with a strong visual connection to its surroundings. It will be a university on show - inviting people to connect and be involved with what is occurring within.

“The campus will be purposefully embedded with industry and connect the commercial, cultural and entertainment precincts of Perth, and is designed to project life, energy, and opportunity into the heart of our city. Its proximity to industry is a game-changer for engagement and partnership with business.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to create what we see as the university of the future, and to reinforce ECU and Perth as a highly desirable centre of education, research, innovation and performance.”

A development application for the mid-rise ECU City campus will be lodged with DevelopmentWA later this month, with early site works expected to commence later this year.