The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has submitted a proposal to council for major campus facility upgrades and infill development costing almost $30 million.
With the assistance of their selected architect and principal consultant, H2o Architects, UTS has submitted a development application to the City of Sydney that proposes the redevelopment of the University Hall site and an eight-story extension to the CB04 Science Building, which will include provision for a future “super lab”.
Demolishing the existing single-storey University Hall structure, the extension will create 2,500 square metres of additional building area.
The new science facility will be able to accommodate 12 new laboratories, flexible working space and amenities. It is designed to respond to the changing needs of leading research academics from the university and commercial industry partners.
H2o Architects will have the added challenge of attempting to achieve this on a constrained site approximately 1080sq m
in size, situated between two functioning buildings, limiting access to the site.
The university’s proposed site for the CB04A building is located at the UTS City Campus -- facing Harris Street and Turner Lane -- within Sydney's Broadway Precinct.
According to the proposal, the UTS models their science teaching facility on the London Metropolitan University (MET) super lab, and hopes to mirror MET’s open-plan lab which uses advanced AV technology as a central part of learning and teaching.
London Metropolitan University "superlab", image courtesy of London Metropolitan University
In the MET Super Lab, students are able to watch detailed demonstrations on screen while performing the experiments themselves. Water, electricity, data and gases are serviced from the lab benches, maintaining a clear sight line.
The design of the super lab aims to facilitate the "buzz" of a multidisciplinary environment while ensuring students feel part of an intimate class group.
Despite potential building height restrictions, UTS is keen to see their proposal go ahead. They are optimistic that the redeveloped science facility will create a practice-oriented student learning environment with new laboratories fitted with modern scientific and analytical instruments to facilitate a "world-class research intensive faculty".