Lyons’ Central Institute of Technology, Perth

April 27, 2011

Lyons’ $62 million centre-piece for the Central Institute of Technology opens in Perth.

The new Central Institute of Technology building, designed by Melbourne firm Lyons in association with Perth architects T&Z, has been officially opened in Perth.

The 11,000sqm building provides new teaching facilities for architectural, engineering and beauty technicians – programs that were previously located on three separate CIT campuses. Flexible research spaces and a library are also housed in the new building on the Northbridge site, which serves as a grand new entrance for the campus.

Situated on Aberdeen Street in Perth, the $62 million project is conceived as the new “social heart” of CIT, said Lyons Director Neil Appleton. A large glazed façade connects the large foyer with the street outside, providing a visual connection between the old and new building. Staircases, ramps and lifts are all visible from the social heart – making the space feel alive with movement.

Appleton added: “We moved the library out of the basement across the road and next to the foyer in the new building, making it a centre-piece, clearly defining Central as a leading training institution committed to its city location.”

The building references the mining history of Western Australia, as well as the state’s indigenous natural environment. “The ‘social heart’ was conceived as an ‘excavation’ along the Aberdeen Street façade, like a gigantic manmade cave. Structural columns of industrial-scale blackened pipe prop up the overhanging building and glazed wall, reflecting further mining references,” explained Appleton.

The colour palette and material selections act as visual references to WA’s landscape and the mining industry, with a façade clad in copper, silver and coloured metallic panels. Inside, construction elements of the building are left exposed so that finishes and junctions can be used as a teaching resource for building and engineering students.

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