Curtin University

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These are a few pictures of some of the fantastic buildings at Curtin University.  Architects on the campus include Vin Davies, Cox Etherington Coulter Jones, Ferguson, SB Cann, CCN, Harler and many others.  There is a lot of breton brut concrete and face brickwork here, with the occasional Corbusian, Kahnian, Tange et al.  imagery invoked. Fantastic campus, well worth a trip.

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2 responses to “Curtin University

  1. Building 201 is the exact opposite of good architecture. It has some interesting details on the exterior, especially the side you showed there, but if I remember correctly that ramp is no longer used because the concrete is completely fucked. I think there was a ramp to another building that had to be knocked down for the same reason years and years ago.

    The interior is also a disaster, its the most unintuitive building ever conceived, there are rooms on either side of the buildings main ‘chasm’ that runs it’s entire length, and to get between levels you often have to swap from one side of the building to the other. Staircases spiral all over the place but don’t allow you to get any bearing because views of the ‘chasm’ are blocked with thick concrete, rooms are located inside other rooms…

    I guess it’s a good thing the school of architecture is inside this building; inspiring new architects to build better every day of the year!

  2. I beg to differ Martin. I went up that ramp last week and it seemed perfectly fine to me. There was three of us on there at once too.

    As for the interior of the architecture building, far from being unintuitive i think it is amazingly intuitive. The “chasm” (generally called an atrium or void in architecture) serves as a light well for the building, as well as being an integral part of it’s passive ventilation mechanism. I’d also much prefer a dramatic five storey void in a building than a series of flat, repetitive floors. It allows you to know what level you’re on and where you are in the building in relation to everything else.

    To go between levels there is a lift and three sets of stairs that all go up one side of the building. The only time you need to swap sides to go up is when moving from level six to seven, because there is no level seven on the stairwell side of the building. It’s quite straightforward to navigate.

    The real beauty of the architecture building, if you’re talking aesthestics, is in the smaller details of how it relates to the environment. At sunrise and sunset light plays off the walls of the void creating quite a beautiful experience, which was not an accidental occurrence. It was designed to do that. The contrast of the concrete outside with the vivid reds and oranges of Autumn is also quite amazing.

    It’s a building that has an evolving experience as the year progresses, and has far more depth of thought and experience than any other building i’ve seen in Perth. Personally, i would consider that better architecture than something that simply looks pretty but lacks intelligence.

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