Dr Chau Chak Wing Building – UTS Business School Sydney

Dr Chau Chak Wing Building Sydney, UTS Development, NSW, Architect, Australia, Design, Project

Dr Chau Chak Wing Building : UTS Business School Sydney

UTS Building by Frank Gehry, Sydney – design by Gehry Partners LLP

2 Dec 2012

Dr Chau Chak Wing Building

Building for UTS by Frank Gehry, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Design: Gehry Partners LLP with architect Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke (Australia)

Lend Lease, one of Australia’s largest contractors, has been appointed by UTS to build the Frank Gehry-designed Dr Chau Chak Wing Building aka ‘Gehry’s Tree house’.

East façade, view across Ultimo Pedestrian Network, model scale: 1-to-100
Dr Chau Chak Wing Building UTS Business School Sydney UTS Building Sydney
image : Gehry Partners, LLP

To open in mid-2014 at a total development cost of $180 million, the building will house the UTS Business School. The UTS building will be 12 storeys high.

One of the key construction challenges presented by the project is its unique, undulating brick façade, comprising of 320,000 bricks, all laid by hand in situ. The bricks, a reference to Sydney’s sandstone heritage, will sit on top of a steel substrate.

West elevation, model scale: 1-to-100
Dr Chau Chak Wing Building UTS Business School Sydney UTS Building Sydney
image : Gehry Partners, LLP

“This is a once-in-a-generation project and we want to make sure it meets both Gehry’s vision and the University’s long-term needs,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Ross Milbourne. “We are confident in Lend Lease’s ability to deliver one of Sydney’s most recognisable buildings.”

“The design of this building is extremely complex. We will use state-of-the-art construction methods including building information modelling to deliver the project,” said Managing Director of Lend Lease’s project management and construction business in Australia, Murray Coleman. “The result will be an exciting building, the likes of which has never been seen before in Sydney.”

East elevation, model scale: 1-to-100
Dr Chau Chak Wing Building UTS Business School Sydney UTS Building Sydney
image : Gehry Partners, LLP

Dr Chau Chak Wing Building – Project Description

The Dr Chau Chak Wing Building is the first building in Australia designed by Frank Gehry, one of the world’s most influential architects.

A key component of UTS’s City Campus Master Plan, the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building will provide teaching, learning, research and office accommodation for the UTS Business School, a manifestation of the creative thinking that underpins the teaching and research undertaken by the faculty and, more broadly, the university.. There will be extensive public spaces in the new building, including student lounges, cafes and outdoor roof terraces.

The building will have two distinct external facades, one composed of undulating brick, referencing the sandstone and the dignity of Sydney’s urban brick heritage, and the other of large, angled sheets of glass to fracture and mirror the image of surrounding buildings.

View north along Ultimo Pedestrian Network, model scale: 1-to-100
Dr Chau Chak Wing Building UTS Business School Sydney UTS Building Sydney
image : Gehry Partners, LLP

Dr Chau Chak Wing Building – Key features

The building is named for Australian-Chinese businessman and philanthropist Dr Chau Chak Wing, who donated $20 million to the project, alongside an additional $5 million for Australia-China scholarships

Gehry Partners designs from the inside-out, meaning that the design of internal spaces must be developed before design of the building’s exterior can start

The building will become a key destination on the ‘cultural ribbon’ that extends from the Sydney Opera House down to the UTS, passing through key sites such as the Powerhouse Museum and Darling Harbour

Section view of west elevation, model scale: 1-to-50
Dr Chau Chak Wing Building UTS Business School Sydney UTS Building Sydney
image : Gehry Partners, LLP

Dr Chau Chak Wing Building – In the architect’s words

‘The conceptual organization of the design follows a conversation between Frank Gehry and the Dean of Business as the project began. Frank imagined a building that was a cluster of “tree houses,” or vertical stacks of office floors with spatial “cracks” in between.’

‘Each of the larger lower floors is divided into six floor segments. The building façade folds in between these elements bringing natural daylight deep into the center of the floors.’

‘The façade of the building will have 2 aspects and 2 different personalities. The east facing façade that contains an entry from the UPN is made of a buff colored brick similar in color to the Sydney Sandstone. The form of this façade curves and folds like soft fabric. The brick will be set in horizontal courses and will step or corbel to create the shape. The texture of the surface will be rough and will emphasize the mass of the material. The shape flattens as it wraps around the north and south corners. Large windows punch this façade.’

‘The west facing façade that contains the ground level entry off Ultimo Road is composed of large shards of glass façade. This glass will be slightly reflective to fracture and mirror the image of the surrounding buildings of the neighborhood. Sculptural brick towers will stand at the northwest and southwest corners of this façade.’

‘The ground floor of the building will have a café with seated dining that opens to additional outdoor tables on the sidewalk and proposed plaza to the north. A coffee bar with outdoor seating will animate the upper level entry off the UPN, conveniently adjacent to the student center and the large student lounge. Connected via a staircase to the student lounge will be a more secluded graduate student lounge one level above.’

‘The teaching and learning spaces, which are accessibly located on the lower four levels of the building, are comprised of various classroom types primarily serving postgraduate students. There are 10 graduate seminar rooms of 40 seats with flat floors to allow for flexibility in seating arrangement, a 120 seat bowl classroom with desk seating and loose chairs on the first floor, 4 flat floor graduate computer labs for 40 students each, and 2 oval classrooms for 60.’

Ground floor plan ; First floor plan ; Third floor plan
Dr Chau Chak Wing Building UTS Business School Sydney UTS Building Sydney Dr Chau Chak Wing Building UTS Business School Sydney UTS Building Sydney Dr Chau Chak Wing Building UTS Business School Sydney UTS Building Sydney
images : Gehry Partners, LLP

Dr Chau Chak Wing Building – UTS Business School Sydney images / information from UTS

Frank Gehry

Comment received, 5 Dec 2012:
“As I say in my book on interior design, why design buildings that look as though they have come from some disaster zone? Purposeful disfigurement is perverse and is an assault on the emotional stability of people, especially those who may have suffered facial disfigurement from some dreadful accident or war experience. Gehry wants locking up!”
Anthony Sully, Cambridgeshire, UK


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Dr Chau Chak Wing Building page

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