University of Canberra’s bush campus to get $5 billion transformation

The University of Canberra plans to spend $5 billion on property development at its Bruce campus over the next 20 years, despite the economic headwinds facing the university sector with the loss of revenue from international students.

Included in the 20-year masterplan prepared by MGS Architects with Turf Design Studio are new light rail connections and a sports hub and indoor arena. The plan details several interconnected hubs designed to increase services available to the campus and Belconnen community.

The hubs will be focused on health, aged care, early learning and housing – with the aim being to create an “all-encompassing community-focused campus on which people can live, work, and study.”

In total, the plan envisions an increase in core university facilities of at least 60,000 square metres and a 210,000-square-metre increase in partnership and commercial buildings and/or tenancies.

This will support a campus population of 45,000, consisting of 12,000 residents, 15,000 students and an enterprise and business population of at least 18,000.

University of Canberra vice-chancellor Paddy Nixon said the plan was to bring together those who are already part of the university community with those in the greater Belconnen area.

“The Campus Master Plan will integrate our campus with community through a range of neighbourhoods where people can live, learn and work,” he said.

“The masterplan envisages Canberra’s public transport network strengthened with the city’s Light Rail service travelling from Civic, through the University campus, and onto the Belconnen Town Centre.”

The masterplan calls for a new arena and multi-court sports centre.

“We also want to expand the sporting facilities available to the community – welcoming our neighbours to use the grounds for their exercise and recreational activities,” said Nixon.

MGS Architects says the masterplan aims to reinforce the university’s distinctive bush character, linking key spaces to the region’s significant landscapes, and supporting existing ecology and biodiversity.

“Even as the campus increases in density, this character will be preserved, offering a recognizable point of difference and uniquely Australian experience for campus users,” the masterplan states.

Source: Architecture - architectureau

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