Frank Gehry, in collaboration with construction giant Lend Lease, will design and construct the new 12-storey UTS building – said to be Sydney’s most distinctive project since the Opera House. The building, which will consist of 320,000 homely brown bricks, laid by hand, is due to be completed in mid-2014. Mr. Gehry has described the building’s internal structure as being like a “tree house”, designed to encourage a sense of “creative play”. The building will be built on the former Dairy Farmers site between the ABC Ultimo Centre and the Powerhouse Museum and hold up to 2000 students and 390 academics. More information after the break.
Costs have already spiralled on the $180 million project, which was originally priced at $150 million. The UTS vice-chancellor, Ross Milbourne, attributed the blowout to excavation delays and changes to the complex brickwork construction. It will be built brick by brick, rather than using a cheaper “brick curtain” method, which would have detracted from the fluid, undulating design, Professor Milbourne said. The new Faculty of Business building will be the 83-year-old architect’s first in Australia. He was unperturbed by the unflattering “paper bag” comparisons, Professor Milbourne said, reportedly responding “if only I could go down in history as the man who did that, I would die a very happy man”. The 12-storey building will be named after Dr Chau Chak Wing, an Australian-Chinese businessman who donated $20 million for its construction and $5 million for scholarships. Courtesy of The Sydney Morning Herald