Faculty of Engineering + Information Technology, University of Technology Sydney
On a prominent urban site, the new Faculty of Engineering + Informational Technology building creates a gateway to the University’s revitalised city campus and the southern end of Sydney’s CBD.
Fourteen levels, plus four below ground, accommodate state-of-the-art lecture rooms, academic offices, seminar rooms, teaching and research laboratories, student union, food and recreation areas, with bicycle and car parking.
The building is expressed as a singular sculptural object, setting it apart from the more traditional architectural expression of its neighbours. Four tilted and skewed plates envelope the building’s volume.
The plates are made of aluminium sheets perforated in a pattern derived from the binary code for ‘University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology’. ‘Gills’ creased into the surface of each plate punctuate the façade, visually reinforcing the sense of plate as skin and symbolically allowing the building to breathe.
The faculty’s collaborative learning culture materialises in the ultra-thin crevasse-like atrium which links all teaching, learning and social spaces. It’s a dynamic space occupied by open stairs, random bridge links and lounges for informal encounters, with circulation along its edges.
The raw aesthetic is achieved internally with materials such as off form concrete and Corten steel engenders a warehouse quality. Offering naturally-lit access through the building at ground level, the crevasse directly links the university to the local neighbourhood.
The interior architecture has an innovative pedagogical approach and a technology rich environment at its core, which aims to support student needs and future industry trends.
The latest in cutting-edge technology, includes robotics, computer and human-centred design labs, and a 3D data visualisation facility, the Data Arena – the most advanced research facility of its type in Australia.
An extensive range of environmentally sustainable design initiatives make a substantial contribution to achieving best practice standards in the faculty accommodation.
The design has achieved a 5 star Green Star design rating, and is expected to deliver an energy savings of 30- 45%, a potable water saving of 20-30% and a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over benchmarked tertiary educational buildings with similar functional spaces.