Award for Health and Education
AILA WA Landscape Architecture Awards 2022

Award in Environmental Excellence

Urban Development Institute of Australia  WA 2022

exchange innovation precinct

The new 'Exchange' precinct has established a dynamic urban heart in Perth’s south, building on Curtin University's campus core. The REALMstudios’ master plan has created a cohesive vision incorporating a generous and sustainable series of public & communal spaces in association with four significant new buildings:

  • School of Design & Built Environment Faculty building by John Wardle Architects,

  • Nesuto Hotel, Residential Apartments and mixed-use building by Six Degrees

  • St Catherine's College student accommodation by Nettleton Tribe

  • Twin Dolphin Hall student accommodation also by Nettleton Tribe.

The Exchange Precinct delivers ‘City Making & Liveability’ within a tertiary education context. Curtin University’s vision for its campus redevelopment was established in the “Greater Curtin Master Plan” (2016 AILA WA Civic Landscape Award) by AECOM, intended to shift its 1960’s citadel-like campus into a truly civic and cosmopolitan heart.

Director Damien Pericles has had a long-standing engagement in evolution of the Curtin campus. Prior to REALMstudios and involvement with the Exchange precinct, Damien led the public realm component of the Greater Curtin Master Plan (GCMP).

The Exchange Precinct is stage one of the GCMP, for which a Public Private Partnership (PPP) development model was adopted. The proponent tender phase was awarded to ‘Live in Learning’ with REALMstudios as Landscape Architects in the consortium. The $500-million contract includes: Funding, Design, Building, Management and Maintenance over a 35-year period – with the Design & Built Environment Building delivered by Curtin directly.

The negotiation of multiple voices, requirements, project phases and contract novation’s over a 4 year period has been a mammoth journey. The project gained practical completion at end of 2021 however many of the food & beverage, grocer and other operators/users are yet to establish, let alone arrival of student populations in the face of Covid-19.

Building on the GCMP, a Stage One Design Guideline (by ARM) formed a briefing document with public realm and place-based performance criteria addressing:

  • Multiple user demographics;

  • Movement & connection networks;

  • A lust for innovation;

  • Water use in a drying climate;

  • Blue/Green network – Living Stream;

  • Street level activation & retail;

  • Shade, shelter and comfort;

  • Safety, Security & public/private interfaces;

  • Retention of existing trees;

  • Public Art and;

  • Integration of Aboriginal culture and meaning – Living Knowledge Stream
     

The REALMstudios landscape masterplan addressed these elements through a participatory design process with Curtin stakeholders and consortium members.  

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Location

Bentley, WA

Year

2018 - 2022

Status 

Complete

Client

Curtin University, Live in Learning, Probuild 

Design Team

Damien Pericles, Brett Schreurs, Luke Davey, Pat Sims, Michael Memeo