Research Division

A new campus for the North-West

The development application for the North-West Coast’s new University of Tasmania campus has been lodged with the Burnie City Council.

Designed by the internationally renowned John Wardle Architects (JWA) and award-winning Tasmanian practice Room11, construction on the $40 million development is expected to commence from April next year.

University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black said the new campus was a project shaped by the region and the community it was designed to serve.

"We are enormously grateful for the community input on the project, from master planning through to the codesign process, which saw a community consultation panel intimately involved in shaping the design," Professor Black said.

“This is a campus that’s really emerged in conversation with the community here and we hope people feel that sense in which this is a place for the North-West. 

“It’s a building that sits at that pivot point between honouring where we’ve come from and creating hope about where we’re going.”

The design was a response to place, to history, to a community and to local geography, Professor Black said.

“Its shape reflects the rising escarpments of the coastline, the green roof speaks to the fields of this rich landscape, and the building embraces the sea and the local climate, framing views and creating spaces where you can experience and retreat from the weather.”

Professor Black said the campus was distinctive to the North-West and, just as importantly, so would be the learning, teaching and research delivered from within its walls.

“This will be a place where we will be delivering distinctive programs designed specifically for the needs of the community here, and the industry and businesses of the North-West.

“It will have a feature we have nowhere else in the University: an original equipment manufacturing workshop, which will support the businesses working on the Coast with all of the work they’re doing to stay globally competitive manufacturers.”

JWA principal John Wardle said: “The West Park campus has been such an important commission for JWA.

“To design a whole university in a single building is a remarkably defining concept. Add to this the importance of the project in transforming the opportunities for tertiary education in the north-west, its dramatic coastal edge site, the aspiration of the local community, means we have all the ingredients for a significant Tasmanian project.”

Room11 director Thomas Bailey said the design was a synthesis of concerns in contemporary education environments and particular Tasmanian perspectives.

“This will be a building that truly speaks of an exuberantly optimistic future in a new Tasmania.”

The West Park campus is part of the $300 million Northern Transformation Project, a partnership between the University and local, state and federal governments. The Project is designed to make further education more accessible for Tasmanians and improve educational attainment throughout the north of the state.

Two new campuses are being constructed under the project, with West Park the first scheduled to get underway. The University is working closely with its partners and stakeholders to develop distinctive offerings and an exciting, vibrant campus at the Inveresk precinct in Launceston.

The West Park campus will now move through the Burnie City Council’s planning processes. Pending approval, construction will commence from April next year with the campus due to open in Semester 1 in 2021.

Anyone interested in more details can look at the plans, and speak to staff about the new campus, at the Makers Workshop next week. Staff will be available from 10am until 4pm between Monday 17 and Wednesday 19 December. 

You can also visit for all the latest updates, or email questions and feedback to  

Artist impressions of the new campus are available for download here.

Published on: 14 Dec 2018 11:17am