Architecture studio Woods Bagot designed the vertical campus for Western Sydney University (WSU), with the future-focused building redefining the very concept of an educational institute. By creating a dynamic and engaging vertical campus, the design studio met the brief for an all-inclusive, functional, multi-disciplinary and spatially diverse learning environment that fosters collaboration and interaction.

Located in the heart of Parramatta, Sydney, WSU’s campus stands tall with the intention of embracing a reimagined way of collaborative learning. The university building, which was completed in early 2017, comprises of a series of flexible spaces throughout the levels, giving immense opportunity for the unification, collaboration and conversation within the student community.

“It’s a flexible, adaptive vertical campus that encourages learning through conversation,” says Alan Duffy, the regional education sector leader of Woods Bagot.

Woods Bagot brought their creative edge and knowledge of workplace design to practice for the development of WSU. Combining the traditional structure of an office space with the open and interactive nature of a university, Woods Bagot reconfigured the learning spaces to remove student-teacher boundaries and encourage constant exchange between individuals.

The floor space is designed to facilitate unobstructed movement while the use of raw, natural materials in earthy tones creates warmth throughout the open spaces and the muted pink and blue hues within more intimate spaces create an energetic playfulness for the campus.

Interconnecting stairs and voids throughout the atrium allow for the continual exchange of conversations on the go. The multifunctional campus building’s facilities also include digital library access, remote lecture and teleconferencing equipment, quiet pods and a roof terrace with a breakout zone.

Blurring the lines of formal and informal areas maximises space utilisation throughout the social areas. The open kitchen facilities are designed to encourage staff and students alike to interact while enjoying the functionality of Zip HydroTap boiling, chilled and sparkling filtered water taps.