university of newcastle campus

New Space is a $95 million landmark education precinct under development by the University of Newcastle in the heart of Newcastle’s CBD.

The project received state significant development (SSD) approval in February 2015 and the UON awarded the Principal Contractor contract to Hansen Yuncken in May 2015 after a lengthy and in-depth procurement process. A commencement celebration was recently held on the site, marking the official turning of the sod that signifys the commencement of construction on site.

The new precinct is a significant revitalisation project for the city of Newcastle and will host a range of University-supported activities including:
business and law programs
digital library services and information commons
collaborative learning and research spaces
facilities for engagement with industry, business and the community
social learning spaces.

Although initially for the the delivery of business and law programs, NeW Space will be a resource for the entire University community across different disciplinary and knowledge fields. Developed as a technology-rich and engaging site

 NeW Space will provide a unique platform for our staff to develop and test innovative ideas and to deliver a ‘next generation’ university experience for students.

NeW Space is supported by Australian Government funding of $30 million through the Education Investment Fund Regional Priorities Round, NSW Government funding of $25 million, and $40 million invested by the University.

A campus designed for the future

The Lyons/EJE concept design for the University’s NeW Space education precinct creates an innovative, ‘vertical’ campus that is a gathering place for the University and for Newcastle – a place for creative exchange, for meeting, for enhancing the business of the city – as well as a great place for students and academics to learn and research.

An iconic landmark in our great city, the NeW Space concept is designed to be a place that invites the city and the community into the building, the University and onto the city campus through social spaces, connecting pathways and active student learning spaces that are right on the street front.

The concept design, which is contemporary and confident, strives to capture the University’s global outlook and aspirations. Connecting with the city are the building’s prominent views to the Town Hall; and the series of double height ‘urban rooms’ or ‘look outs’ that are placed to take advantage of views of key Newcastle landmarks and inviting people to explore to the very top of the building.

Environmentally, NeW Space is focused on an sustainable design and is targeting 5 star Green Star rating, aligning with the University’s sustainability objectives. To optimise the NeW Space learning experience, the project will focus on delivering indoor environments that enable exceptional research and student learning to be undertaken, including through natural ventilation. A dual directional sun shading system will wrap around the building form, and provide excellent sunlight protection specifically designed for each solar orientation.

Students at the centre of the design

Building a strong, interconnected academic environment and culture for students and staff is key to the concept design of the NeW Space precinct. The centrepiece of the concept is a dynamic learning hub, which is an open and interactive space and distributed over three levels.

The learning hub is one part of the ‘vertical’ design that places student and learning spaces on all 10 levels of the city campus from the library on level 1, to the upper levels overlooking the campus green, and outside to the wireless green space.

The design supports the University’s aim to provide the next generation learning experience by harnessing the latest in technology and innovation to expand the teaching and learning landscape beyond the traditional lecture theatre:

  • the technology-embedded NeW Space learning environments will provide flexibility and adaptability to switch between multiple modes within a class, and between classes, and to extend our reach locally, regionally and globally in both online and mixed mode education
  • open spaces will be enabled for non-traditional learning in gaming, social and play-based activities.

A great academic experience

Developed as a technology-rich and engaging demonstrator site, NeW Space will provide a unique platform for our staff to develop and test innovative ideas to deliver a ‘next generation’ university experience for students.

NeW Space will provide a resource for the entire University community, across different disciplinary and knowledge fields, to create and pilot education models and pedagogy that maximise new and emerging technologies ahead of a University-wide adoption.

The ‘vertical’ design emphasises informal and collaborative spaces for academics to meet with students and colleagues outside their office environment.