Right in the heart of Parramatta Square is 1PSQ , the first development in revitalisation of this precinct and home to Western Sydney University’s first vibrant, vertical campus. Originally intended as A-grade office space, 1PSQ underwent rigorous testing to check its suitability as an education campus. Our challenge was how to fitout the space while creating flexible and resilient learning spaces with a high level of digital integration.
Designed and built to achieve a 5 Star Green Star Education Design Rating, 1PSQ is comprised of two basement levels, a ground floor and 14 storeys.
Western Sydney University occupies the ground floor and 10 storeys.
Next Generation Learning Spaces
Western Sydney University’s fitout project covered approximately 23,700 m² of floor space at 1PSQ. In partnership with Woods Bagot, we delivered all building services and specialist disciplines, including innovative AV designs for the teaching spaces.
Wayne Bretherton, WSP's Director of Property and Buildings for ANZ says, “With the rise in digitisation, the traditional classrooms and campuses are changing. While virtual learning has existed for some time, the need for a physical campus has not diminished as it provides access to a range of facilities, research equipment and other resources. More importantly, it meets the basic human need for social interaction that students crave, which cannot be replaced entirely by technology.
“This presents us with an opportunity to reinvent physical learning spaces that incorporate future-focused features in their designs to maximise teaching and learning opportunities and create meaningful student experiences.”
Reflecting the diverse ways that students like to learn and interact, for Western Sydney University our team designed a mix of:
- Open lounge areas
- Cellular office spaces
- Formal learning areas
- Collaboration and meeting space
- Client seminar and multi-function rooms
We also factored in-plant areas for additional supplementary services, including centralised UPS, security and access control equipment and a centralised building management system.
Enhancing the Learning Experience
We worked closely with the university to understand classroom scenarios and teaching techniques so that together we could develop a digitally-infused and technology-rich learning environment. The campus features writable walls, high-tech cameras and systems that provide real-time updates to the building occupants.
Our design included complex audio and video solutions to enable a seamless technology experience that does not impede natural teaching styles. Lecturers can move around the modern classroom, connecting with students in the room or at remote locations. Even with the lab-centric nature of the project, our team designed advanced AV capabilities to track the movements of the lecturer, allowing for remote presentation and consultation. In addition, we addressed the safety requirements of the ‘wet area’ lab.
Western Sydney’s flagship Parramatta campus opened its doors in 2017 and now houses approximately 10,000 students. It is a much-needed education hub in Australia’s fastest growing city. This smart, energy-efficient development is one of the most innovative and interactive academic and research spaces in Australia. It has achieved a 5 Star Green Star Education v1 – Design and As-built Rating.
“Our objective is to help communities thrive by supporting learning outcomes to help attract, engage, stimulate and develop our future leaders,” concludes Mr Bretherton.