Western Sydney University
The adaptive reuse of the former Charles H Hoskins Memorial Institute building is a positive transformation of a vacant public facility that has brought new life to an important civic precinct of Lithgow. The retention of significant fabric, both internally and externally, creates a unique identity for Western Sydney University.
The design approach for this project capitalises upon the positive qualities of the existing building and makes subtle changes, where necessary, to provide contemporary facilities for teaching and learning that respond to the specific pedagogy of WSU College. In all cases, the approach has been to retain and enhance the fundamental architectural character of the building. Externally, the built fabric is retained and repaired so that the public face of the building has minimal visible changes.
The large open hall spaces are used for teaching classrooms or laboratories, with the largest being used for a new lecture theatre. The western hall has been used for a new blended learning commons and a library reading space.
The most significant design change to the building is the addition of a new lift lobby and entry on the northern side of the building. This saw the demolition of an ancillary wing and replacement with a glass lobby. This lobby is connected to the main entry via a new steel and glass gallery on the western side of the main hall.
This building renewal, coupled with a dramatic improvement in the public presentation of the immediate surroundings, sees this building contributing once again to the public life of Lithgow.