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The Dr Chau Chak Wing Building is the newest addition to the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the first building in Australia designed by Frank Gehry, one of the world’s most influential architects.
The exterior has two different but related personalities; an east-facing, undulating brick facade acknowledging Sydney’s sandstone heritage and a western facade of angular glass shards reflecting its contemporary surrounds.
Taking almost four years from concept design to completion, and with a $180 million price tag, the building offered a number of challenges. The ‘fluid’ appearance of the brickwork involved the custom design of five bricks, with approximately 320,000 of them being laid by hand. The corbelling of the brickwork, with individual bricks jutting out as the facade curves, articulates the facades eye-catching lines.
The building will be a key destination on ‘The Goods Line’ that extends from Darling Harbour to Central Station, currently being redeveloped as a new urban space, in a similar vein to the High Line of New York.
Housing a state-of-the-art business school and high-tech learning hub, the building’s design symbolises innovative thinking and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration and the cross-pollination of ideas.
Inside, there are two oval classrooms constructed from large laminated timber beams, providing a very different teaching and learning experience from the traditional front-facing classroom, a collaborative theatre, and a 240-seat auditorium.
Other notable features include a sculptural stainless steel staircase in the entrance lobby, curvaceous plyperimeter seating in the student commons and cloud-shaped ceiling lighting in the building’s public areas. The building has a five-star Green Star design rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, high-performance glazing on the facade enhancing the building’s energy efficiency, parking for 160 bicycles, a 20,000-litre rainwater tank and uses timber from sustainable sources.
Frank Gehry is a Canadian-American architect based in Los Angeles. He is among the most acclaimed architects of the 20th century, and is known for his use of bold, postmodern shapes and unusual materials. His consistent aesthetic has made Gehry one of the most distinctive and easily recognizable designers of the recent past.
Gehry’s most famous designs include the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Lost Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Gehry’s interest in unconventional building materials have come to characterize his architectural work.
More info via | UTS