Curtin University Bus Interchange

UrbanStone pavers enliven Curtin University’s bus interchange




Curtin University Bus Interchange


Place Laboratory & Coniglio Ainsworth Architects


Urbanstone Engineered Stone (Custom colour)


Gary Peters Photography

The architects behind Curtin University’s new bus interchange say they chose UrbanStone pavers for both practical and aesthetic reasons. “We set up the material palette for the campus going forward,” says Anna Chauvel from Place Laboratory. “The idea was to devise a cohesive materiality across the whole campus, so that when the university rolls out future projects that might not necessarily be in Greater Curtin, they actually refer back to the same material palette.”

Place Laboratory and Coniglio Ainsworth selected UrbanStone pavers for the interchange and surrounding footpaths. “The general technical criteria for the paving selection was to provide an aesthetically pleasing, durable and slip-resistant finish,” says Ainsworth.

As Chauvel explains, another benefit of using UrbanStone pavers rather than tarmac or other poured materials is their ability to be uprooted as needed. “There’s quite a lot of infrastructure that goes in underneath campus roads, even more than what you’d find in a city context because of all the university’s data requirements,” she says. “That’s why we went with the unit paver: we needed to make sure that the university had flexibility to easily perform maintenance below the surface.”

Curtin University Bus Interchange

Place Laboratory & Coniglio Ainsworth

Place Laboratory collaborated with UrbanStone to develop two colours specifically for the campus pavers. “Curtin has a traditional brick palette, so we decided to juxtapose that with something that was a little bit lighter,” says Chauvel.

Instead of using traditional rectangular-shaped pavers, the team generated a pattern based on the work of architect Richard Buckminster Fuller, who is famous for his geodesic domes. “He devised a geometric solution to creating a circle,” says Chauvel. “There’s a dome building on the campus which was designed using his construction methodology, so we used that as a starting point.”

The resulting geometric pavers fit together neatly. “The consistent diagonal banding allows the pattern to seamlessly flow throughout the campus,” Ainsworth says. Chauvel and Ainsworth agree that the custom UrbanStone paving has significantly enhanced the bus interchange. “The unique pattern assists with legibility and wayfinding,” Ainsworth notes. “The unique pavement treatment extends from the bus interchange to the campus corso, guiding people to the academic heart.” Thanks to the productive collaboration between the architects and UrbanStone, these custom pavers will help define the Curtin campus aesthetic for generations to come.

“Curtin has a traditional brick palette, so we decided to juxtapose that with something that was a little bit lighter”