Gehry's UTS Business School
University building envy and competition for students in Sydney will enter the modern age once the Frank Gehry designed, $180 million UTS Business School's Dr Chau Chak Wing Building opens in February 2015.
While part of a $1.1 billion, 10-year campus masterplan, all attention is on the star architect designed building which is Gehry's first in Australia. More famous for curved titanium at Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum, here the main attraction is brick.
The 11 floor, 16,030 square metre building includes about 320,000 bricks from Bowral, custom made in five shapes and laid by hand. Not surprisingly since there's nothing like it, some brickies made its shape into tattoos.
According to Gehry, now 85, it is not a 'crumpled paper bag', but a cluster of tree houses or vertical stacks of office floors with spatial 'cracks' in between. He says the façade has two different personalities. The east-facing side, which folds like fabric, is made of buff-coloured brick resembling Sydney sandstone, and the west-facing façade has large glass shards which mirror the surrounding buildings (no choice there really).
The building is named for Australian-Chinese businessman Dr Chau Chak Wing who donated $20 million towards its construction, plus $5 million for Australia-China scholarships.
Once the humble Institute of Technology before its elevation to a University, UTS' new business school makes an architectural statement that surmounts traditional sandstone. Design credits go to Gehry Partners for the architectural design, local firm Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke for architecture execution and Lend Lease for engineering and contracting.