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REALMstudios engaged with the Centre for Aboriginal Studies (CAS), in an ongoing relationship which has directly defined and shaped the preliminary built outcomes. 

Working with the John Curtin Art Gallery, Art Consultancy, Apparatus and Lend Lease an emerging Noongar Artist brief was developed. REALMstudios supported the awarded artist, Kamsani Bin Salah in development of his work ‘Winin Katidjin Bilya’ that expresses cultural narratives into the concrete surface of the courtyard and further layering on the deep stories associated with the ‘Living Knowledge Stream’ and the two songlines that intertwine near the DBE building.

curtin university school of design & built environment 

The new Curtin School of Design and Built Environment building (DBE) by JWA is one of five key buildings in the Greater Curtin Stage One project. The faculty building features an important ground plane and north oriented semi-enclosed courtyard which provides a centrally organising spatial structure to the entire building.

This creates an intimate relationship with the building and its internal uses/operations. A large awning affords protection in summer and good winter sun penetration providing an enjoyable space all year round. 

The courtyard is predominantly clear of elements in order to facilitate maximum flexibility for various uses and events. In this way the design supports external exhibition installations, informal and movable furniture and group experimentation / cooperation. 

A sunken ‘raingarden’ over deep soil penetrating through the basement creates a ‘reef’ and place for gathering and activation of the courtyard. During rain events, storm water captured from a tank in the basement is pumped to a rill over the rain-garden where it deliberately spills to water the wetland plant species. The rill transforms into a channel through the plaza and then spills into a bowl that returns to the same tank.  The water feature therefore expresses seasonality. This water cleaning system supports the ‘Living stream’ vision - a landscape which articulates a broader context of song-lines and living indicators associated with water. 


Whadjuk Noongar


Curtin University, Perth






Curtin University


Kamsani (artist), John Wardle Architects, Apparatus Public Art and Cultural Services, Hydroplan, Lend Lease


Dion Roberson, Frances Andrijich

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