Western Sydney University
Building K4 or Stable Square located on the Hawkesbury Campus of Western Sydney University has been transformed into a new ‘Student Hub’ including a Café, Bookstore, WSU student services centre, refurbished amenities and new landscaping to the large courtyard. Through re-organising, refurbishing and re-establishing student services, Stable Square has become a popular campus destination once more.
Stable Square has high heritage significance and is one of the oldest buildings on the WSU Hawkesbury Campus. Constructed in 1895, the building was originally used as stables for the former Hawkesbury Agricultural College.
The project delivers a series of sensitive interventions to the existing building fabric and courtyard landscaping. In addition to the conservation works and maintenance of the heritage building fabric, work also included Building Code and DDA compliance.
To minimise change to the building, a key design strategy saw the introduction of new elements and spaces to sit independently within the internal building envelope. Conceived as office ‘pods’ with walls and ceilings finishing below the existing roof structure and ceiling panels suspended between existing structural elements, all new elements are carefully articulated.
The landscape design plays an important role in integrating the stable building quadrants with the large courtyard and surrounding site. The design establishes a strong north-south axis with a secondary east-west axis defining four courtyard quadrants or ‘outdoor rooms’, each with a specific character and function. These set the framework and include pavilions and significant trees to provide sun shading, as well as outdoor furniture (fixed and loose) promoting a spirit of inclusion, diversity and connection.