The University of Western Australia’s EZONE

EZONE positions the University of Western Australia at the forefront of STEM education and campus transformation.

A world-class learning space, an incubator for collaborative innovation, an investment in the knowledge economy — EZONE is a dynamic centre for engineering and mathematical science education and a new western gateway to the University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Crawley Campus. With space for students, alumni, researchers and industry partners to come together and thrive, EZONE has been built to connect people and facilitate the exchange of ideas.

State-of-the-art facilities include engineering labs, advanced education workspaces, learning studios, a café and various outdoor areas for socialising and learning. The beautifully sculptured learning steps’ are a 24/7 central gathering point that encourage physical movement, social connection and informal learning.

Connections between people and spaces are prioritised. Linkways on the first and second floors connect the new EZONE Central to the revamped EZONE North building. A leading example of adaptive reuse, EZONE North — a 1970s era academic building — has been repurposed into a range of versatile spaces, spanning work pods, study spaces, a business incubator, social student hubs and a large multipurpose student event space.

EZONE integrates passive and active sustainability strategies, including carefully considered solar orientation, adaptive reuse of existing structures, self-shading sectional design, advanced engineering systems, solar glass and photovoltaic (PV) cells that convert sunlight directly into electricity. 

Designed as a dynamic structure, EZONE also functions as a practical learning resource for the University to engage with the broader community and put research on display.

An innovative veil façade and PV cell glass skylights are dramatic building features. Consisting of a repeat geometric pattern featuring a six-pointed sun symbol the veil façade is a nod to UWA’s original architect Mr John Gus’ Ferguson who used the motif throughout the initial campus design. The veil helps mitigates glare and filters sunlight through its perforated petals, mimicking the dappled shade that is the hallmark of the campus. 

The façade design gives EZONE a unique identity, paying homage to mathematics and engineering while maintaining views of the surrounding tree canopies. EZONE showcases internal research processes through large, ground-level windows that blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor activity.

Integrating a garden campus atmosphere with the University’s role as a hub for ideas exchange, creates an outward-looking, globally-oriented environment with a distinct local identity.


The University of Western Australia


Whadjuk Country
Crawley, Western Australia






10,000 sqm

Design team

David Gulland, John O’Brien, Felix Oefelein, Reuben Bourke, Catherine Lindsay, Natalie Busch, Sam Travers, Richard Marton and Samantha Bosward


Peter Bennetts

The EZONE Student Hub at the University of Western Australia is architecturally remarkable for its aesthetics, its cultural dynamics and its harmonious integration with the natural environment. This success story should serve as an example for all university campuses around the world, those essential places devoted to scientific research, learning and knowledge transfer”

— Jérôme Gouadain, Secretary General of the Prix Versailles

The transparency of the building strongly connects with the beautiful landscape setting. A perfect contemporary learning environment, the high visibility of interior spaces supports a cultural shift in strong contrast to past models of academic learning.”

— Trevor Humphreys, Director of Campus Management, The University of Western Australia
  • Internal spaces are strategically oriented to incorporate self-shading west and east setbacks for the laboratory areas. Automated blinds and balcony areas further contribute to shielding east and west elevations.
  • The spaces are designed to be adaptable and capable of adjusting to changes in function and occupancy.
  • The veil façade surrounding the new building mitigates glare and heat through shading petals orientated to suit their location.
  • Thermal mass elements are included to store coolness and help regulate temperatures to maintain a comfortable environment.
  • The design includes large, open roof areas and a semi-outdoor circulation strategy that is not air-conditioned. Partial sun exclusion is achieved through PV cells, allowing dappled light to filter into the EZONE Central precinct.
  • The use of high-end technology throughout the design includes digital twin embedded sensors that collect data for investigation and research.
  • A campus-wide central plant strategy extends the infrastructure for chilled water supply into EZONE and provides a masterplan for future connections throughout the university.
  • The design places a central emphasis on human-centric principles, prioritising inclusive access to social spaces, collaborative environments, natural light, shading and connections to nature as fundamental design elements rather than optional additions.
  • Retention of existing trees, addition of new trees and extending the landscape up to, and even inside the building.

According to a University of Western Australia study, EZONE has notably influenced student behaviour. 

  • 80% of students are studying more in groups
  • 71% are spending extended time on campus
  • Over 15,000 students have booked sessions in meeting spaces for collaborative projects since EZONE’s opening
  • 2022 Special Interior Design award, Campus Category — Prix Versailles Awards
  • 2021 Hillson Beasley Award for Educational Architecture — Australian Institute of Architects (WA)
  • 2021 Award for Sustainable Architecture — Australian Institute of Architects (WA)

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