Have you walked past the new UTS Frank Gehry building? Gehry is said to have imagined a building that was a cluster of “tree houses,” or vertical stacks of office floors with spatial “cracks” in between. The building has been called everything from a pile of wet cardboard to a crumpled paper bag. I don't know about you but I love it, especially framed against a blue sky like the one in the photo above.
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. 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 said when he was designing the building:
The façade of the building will have two aspects and two 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 building has two distinct external facades, one made undulating brick, that references the sandstone and Sydney’s urban brick heritage, and the other of large sheets of glass to mirror the images of surrounding buildings. The undulating hand-laid brickwork was created using new technology that was developed for the project. Five types of bricks were custom made and the building was created using 320,000 of them!
Head over to Mary Ann Street near the corner of Omnibus Lane, Ultimo in Sydney to see the building yourself!