School of Medicine & Research Centre, Western Sydney University

School of Medicine & Research Centre, Western Sydney University

  • Sector


  • Key Lyons contact

    Carey Lyon
    Neil Appleton

  • Client

    The University of Western Sydney - Campbelltown Campus

  • Collaborators

    Managing Contractor-Hindmarsh
    Project Manager-Coffey Projects
    Structural & Civil Engineer-Arup
    Services Engineer-Bassett
    Hydraulic Engineer-Alexander & Associates
    Quantity Surveyor-Wilde & Woollard
    Building Surveyor-McKenzie Group
    Landscape Consultant-Taylor Cullity Lethlean
    Builder - Hindmarsh Group

  • Address

    30 Western Sydney University, Narellan Road & Gilchrist Drive, Campbelltown NSW 2560

  • Traditional land

    Located on the traditional lands of the Dharug, Eora and Tharawal people.

  • Size


  • Project status

    Complete, 2008

  • Sustainability

    5 Star Green Star Rating

  • Awards

    2008 World Architecture Awards,  Shortlisted, Higher Education and Research

The need for highly-skilled and adaptable medical graduates who can meet our nation’s health challenges head on is perhaps more important than ever.  Our design for the University of Western Sydney’s School of Medicine and Research Centre provides students and researchers an environment in which they can thrive with facilities that challenge and inspire trainee doctors to prepare them for their medical careers. Won through a national design competition, the School of Medicine and Research Centre is an integrated medical teaching and research environment, designed based on principles of student centred learning and collaborative interdisciplinary research. Inline with the University’s aim to establish and contribute to a grass roots local and Indigenous health service culture, our design for the foundational school establishes an iconic gateway to the campus, welcoming and attracting keen students, the best postgraduate researcher and teaching staff.


the Campus

Establishing UWS at the forefront of medical education and research

Driven by research ethics, we continually challenge and refresh our architectural research to ensure we continue to deliver state-of-the-art medical education and research facilities. This design is no exception, and on completion in 2008, the building was one of the most advanced medical training centres in Australia. The four-storey development provides students and researchers with specialist teaching and laboratory facilities, including simulated learning spaces for clinical skills learning, an anatomy laboratory, problem-based learning tutorial rooms and state-of-the-art research equipment. The building’s futuristic design establishes Western Sydney University (WSU) at the forefront of 21st century medical education, and equips them to produce highly-skilled and adaptable medical graduates.

Training the next generation of medical students in Greater Western Sydney

Our design for the School of Medicine and Research Centre is the home base for medical students, academics, researchers and support staff. The four-storey building comprises four buildings with different purposes: lectures; specialist medical teaching; academic offices and school administration; and research. With approximately two-thirds of the medical students hailing from Greater Western Sydney, the development transforms healthcare for a significant portion of NSW’s population. During the building’s construction phase, acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Wu, commented on what the design signifies for the region saying, “UWS will be training extra GPs and specialists to work across western Sydney’s hospitals and health services, as well as contributing to national research priorities, and providing further educational opportunities for the people of western Sydney.”

“University of Western Sydney will be training extra GPs and specialists to work across Western Sydney’s hospitals and health services, as well as contributing to national research priorities, and providing further educational opportunities for the people of Western Sydney.”

Professor Wu, Acting Vice-Chancellor, Western Sydney University

Designing a hub for learning

Alongside the client’s educational objectives, a key idea behind this design is the creation of an iconic socio-educational external hub space. The hub space is formed by a curved link to create a super-foyer at the front of the building. This external room is covered with a tree-like canopy as an extension of the woodland to the north. Overlooking the hub are problem based learning pods clad in recycled timber are like cubby houses, providing home room identity for the students. The hub space acts as a gateway to the campus and creates common ground for the three different programmes (teaching labs, office accommodation and research laboratories) to discuss medicine. The hub is part of a strategic design solution that directly facilitates communication amongst students and researchers. Communication and the cross pollination of ideas is fundamental to successful research and learning. The hub also serves as an important resource for the wider campus.

“This new medical school redefines the relationship between Country and Health education. We have designed a building which connects to the surrounding landscape and brings real social health learning onto country, within a dramatic central forum. Research spaces, academic offices and student learning are focussed and joined around this beautiful space, making for a holistic educational experience for staff, researchers and students alike.”

Neil Appleton, Director of Lyons.

Related content