The Main Cafe Courtyard upgrade is the first step in the Curtin University Place Activation Plan. The Place Activation Plan sets out both short and long term strategies to improve the liveliness of the campus as it transitions from a suburban campus into the centre of a new urban city with a working title of ‘Curtin Town’.
Conceptual planning explored the courtyards functionality outlining retail opportunities, programmed events and improving everyday student use. The process also brought together key stakeholders within the University including the Student Guild, Facility Management and the Property team.
Working on a tight time frame and modest budget the design is a simple response to create a flexible space with strong connections to surrounding shops and adjoining lawn area to increase its overall functionality and appearance. Detail is achieved through a selection of loose furniture including tables, umbrellas, chairs, stools beanbags and a table tennis that can be used by everybody, not just patrons of the nearby cafe.
Thematically the design tries to capture a sense of fun and youthfulness to inspire the whole campus community. As part of a coming of age the design playfully acknowledges the university’s WAIT roots, through recognition of the sites early architecture.
Sustainability has been addressed through considered material use, recycling materials, preserving vegetation and setting up programs that encourage users to recycle, including bin units and water fountains.