Cox Architecture has joined forces with landscape architects RPS to complete a major project at James Cook University that includes a stylised structural shade canopy and lush tropical plantings.
The new Central Plaza project for James Cook University’s campus in Townsville will feature an architectural curved canopy that will add dramatic effect to the site, giving the new academic, social and entertainment hub a unique personality.
Part of a wider urban development programme slated to transform the Douglas campus, known as Discovery Rise, the new plaza at the heart of the site will connect the southern half of the campus to the northern sector.
Designed by Cox Architecture, with landscape architecture by RPS, this hub will sit at the centre of a series of new buildings that will eventually develop around it, like the $90M Technology Innovation Complex planned for the campus.
“Shade canopies, tropical planting, and urban water features will keep the space shaded and cool, whilst a rich and diverse groundscape will provide spaces for seating, socialising, performances, public address, games, markets, gatherings, and other pop-up activities,” claims Cox Architecture’s masterplan.
A masterplan developed for the campus in 2017, created by Cox Architecture, RPS and 9Point9 Architects, includes forward planning to 2065. Part of that plan is a Living and Learning precinct on the north campus that will be integrated into the academic centre of the University. Part of the Discover Rise site, this urban living environment would include active community streets, student accommodation, as well as retirement living and short-stay accommodation, and young and aged care that promotes a sense of community.
At the ground-breaking ceremony earlier this month, Queensland Planning Minister Cameron Dick stated: “Central Plaza is part of a much bigger picture, which will see JCU Douglas transitioning from a conventional institutional setting into a university town within the City of Townsville.”
“Through Discovery Rise, JCU is creating an urban community with a series of residential villages and non-academic facilities built around the Douglas campus and Townsville Hospital.”
Upon completion this precinct will cater to around 8000 residents, and service a wider university population of 13,800 students and 3100 fulltime university staff.
Images Cox Architecture