New Frank Gehry Building Leads The Future Of Design


The Sydney University of Technology has officially opened the $180 million Frank Gehry building, the first in Australia for the internationally renowned architect.

If there is one sentence that sums up the new Frank Gehry building it's this: "Frank described this as his dream building. It was a dream for him because it fulfilled an unrealised philosophy of education."That was just one of the many testimonials that accompanied the opening of this masterpiece of design.

The Dr Chau Wing Building

, designed by Gehry and will be home to the Sydney University of Technology Business School and on the forefront of the university’s plan to fundamentally change the way teaching, learning and research are delivered at the university.


, who have collaborated with Genhry Partners on projects such as the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Casassa Building at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, consulted on and informed the shape, materiality and construction methodology of the new addition.

Gehry’s design of the building was inspired by a tree house and features a glazed Western face and curved brick exterior that reflects both Sydney's central business district and industrial environments.

The project facade was developed in collaboration with AECOM who provided a range of services for the project including a facade designer and engineer in collaboration with the Sydney University of Technology and the brick supplier. AECOM's Technical Director Building and Structures Ken Morkaya developed a unique brick, tie, mortar and backing system that solved the load, constructability and complex geometrical issues, keeping the facade bricks in place.

The geometrical complexity of the building design required 3D modelling and experimentation, as well as sloping columns around the perimeter to resolve the irregularity of the interior layout.

Arup Project Director Peter Hartigan

said the collaborative approach in design and construction and the use of cutting edge technology proved a triumph on the innovative building.

“A highly iterative approach to the design was required to marry the sculptural form and internal functionality, whilst realising its unique features including the undulating brick façade and highly faceted glaze façade. The brick façade and structure of the building needed to meet and move in the right way and the glazed façade features over 400 different angled glass panes,” Mr Hartigan said.

The Dr Chau Wing also features a three-level, oval class room, which contains the world’s largest spanning timber and concrete composite slab, the first of its kind in Australia.

The new development, officially opened by the Governor-General of Australia Sir Peter Cosgrove has also received the Education Design V1 rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, making it one of the greenest education buildings in Sydney.

UTS Vice Chancellor Professor, Attila Brungs

said the new building has been designed to underpin the innovative thinking of the teaching and research that is undertaken by UTS as a whole.

“It is a building designed to encourage the sharing of ideas among students and staff alongside our industry and community partners,” she said.

Teaching is expected to begin in the new business school at the beginning of Semester One 2015.

In text images courtesy of Andrew Worrsam

Main image courtesy of Wikimedia

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