If there’s one thing the Macquarie community has missed during the COVID lockdown, it’s being able to gather in shared campus spaces that allow us to connect with each other and enjoy our beautiful campus environment.
And there are few places on campus more symbolic of connection and community than the Central Courtyard, which is now nearing the completion of its redevelopment into a vibrant new space for our community to enjoy.
“With a campus of this size, the Central Courtyard Precinct really is akin to a town centre,” says Project Director Tony Carton. “In revitalising the courtyard, we are creating a town square that everyone at Macquarie can enjoy year-round.”
The vibe of the new Courtyard Precinct is bright, green and welcoming, with surrounding buildings opened up to flow into the outdoor space and solar-powered heating allowing for outdoor dining around the perimeter of the courtyard through the winter months.
Landscaping has been a key element of the project, with 1100m2 of soft new Kikuyu turf having been rolled out earlier this month, and trees carefully selected to provide colour and shade through all seasons.
“Two tree species were specifically chosen for the site, with the stock having been nurtured offsite for the last two years before being planted in July,” explains Tony.
“The evergreen and native Flindersia Bennettiana (growing to 20 metres in height) will provide shade in summer, with attractive flowers and seed pods through the warmer months and is being planted in the more central areas of the courtyard. The deciduous Fraxinus pennsylvanica ‘Urbdell’ (which has a lower height of about 8-10 metres) is being planted on the edges and will provide spring flowers and bronze autumn colour and allow more sunlight to reach the courtyard through the winter months.”
Work on the buildings within the Central Courtyard Precinct – including renovation of the Lincoln Building and the construction of a new five-level hub building – is also progressing well, with new teaching spaces, food and retail spaces, a new graduation hall and student accommodation among the things we can look forward to in 2021.
Find out more about the new Central Courtyard Precinct on the Campus Development Plan website.