All images courtesy of University of Technology, Sydney and Gehry Partners LLP
With plenty of time before the beginning of next semester’s classes in february 2015, the Frank Gehry-designed ‘Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building’ at University of Technology, Sydney has recently been completed. The facility is the California-based architect’s first in Australia, and houses teaching, learning, research, and office spaces for the institution’s business school. It features dissimilar façades to the east and the west, with the former made of waving brick in reference to the region’s sandstone heritage, and the latter of angular glass panels reflecting the contemporary context.
While clearly featuring complex forms investigated by gehry for decades, the building’s design is described by the university as symbolic of ‘innovative thinking and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration and the cross-pollination of ideas.’
To accomplish the distinctive fluid brickwork composition, the construction process included the development of five custom forms, with 320,000 pieces laid by hand. The surface includes protruding individual bricks resulting in an articulated patterning within the undulating overall geometry. The façades’ windows are arranged with a gridded order, and project outward in contrast to the building’s mass.
To support the basic aims for the ‘Dr Chau Chak Wing Building’, the facility’s program includes two interaction-enhancing oval shaped classrooms, a collaborative theater, a 240-seat auditorium, and a sculptural staircase made of stainless steel in the entrance lobby. Beyond serving as a technology-aided research and education hub, the structure will also host external business events.