UTS Dr Chau Chak Wing building

UTS Dr Chau Chak Wing building

Gehry Partners
Sydney, Australia
Project Year
Gehry Partners, LLP

Sydney's Frank Gehry designed Dr Chau Chak Wing building will open a new page in business education in Australia.

Gehry Partners as Architects

The Dr Chau Chak Wing Building is the first building in Australia designed by Frank Gehry, one of the world's most influential architects.

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, a manifestation of the creative thinking that underpins the teaching and research undertaken by the faculty and, more broadly, the university.. There will be extensive public spaces in the new building, including student lounges, cafes and outdoor roof terraces.

The building will have two distinct external facades, one composed of undulating brick, referencing the sandstone and the dignity of Sydney’s urban brick heritage, and the other of large, angled sheets of glass to fracture and mirror the image of surrounding buildings.

If you wish to comment on the proposed design as part of the community consultation process (17 December 2010 to 14 January 2011), please visit the Master Plan community portal.

Key features

•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 Partners designs from the inside-out, meaning that the design of internal spaces must be developed before design of the building's exterior can start •The building will become a key destination on the 'cultural ribbon' that extends from the Sydney Opera House down to the UTS, passing through key sites such as the Powerhouse Museum and Darling Harbour In the architect's words •'The conceptual organization of the design follows a conversation between Frank Gehry and the Dean of Business as the project began. Frank imagined a building that was a cluster of “tree houses,” or vertical stacks of office floors with spatial “cracks” in between.' •'Each of the larger lower floors is divided into six floor segments. The building façade folds in between these elements bringing natural daylight deep into the center of the floors.' •'The façade of the building will have 2 aspects and 2 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 west facing façade that contains the ground level entry off Ultimo Road is composed of large shards of glass façade. This glass will be slightly reflective to fracture and mirror the image of the surrounding buildings of the neighborhood. Sculptural brick towers will stand at the northwest and southwest corners of this façade.' •'The ground floor of the building will have a café with seated dining that opens to additional outdoor tables on the sidewalk and proposed plaza to the north. A coffee bar with outdoor seating will animate the upper level entry off the UPN, conveniently adjacent to the student center and the large student lounge. Connected via a staircase to the student lounge will be a more secluded graduate student lounge one level above.' •'The teaching and learning spaces, which are accessibly located on the lower four levels of the building, are comprised of various classroom types primarily serving postgraduate students. There are 10 graduate seminar rooms of 40 seats with flat floors to allow for flexibility in seating arrangement, a 120 seat bowl classroom with desk seating and loose chairs on the first floor, 4 flat floor graduate computer labs for 40 students each, and 2 oval classrooms for 60.' Sustainability features •The building is being designed to minimise greenhouse gas emissions •Key sustainability measures currently being investigated include:

◦low carbon emissions, achieved through low-energy air conditioning and tri-generation power supply ◦smart air conditioning, designed to switch off when offices are empty for an extended period of time ◦monitoring of CO2 levels within the building ◦intelligent lighting that adjusts according to natural light levels ◦optimising natural light, including window positions, floor plate design and window glazing ◦rainwater capture and storage for use in cooling towers and toilet flush applications.

Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

Cube Gallery
next project

Cube Gallery

Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
View Project