Dr Chau Chak Wing Building / Frank Gehry

East façade, view across Ultimo Pedestrian Network, model scale: 1-to-100 / Gehry Partners, LLP

The Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building, part of the University of Technology in , is Frank Gehry‘s first building in Australia. More images and full press release after the break.

East elevation, model scale: 1-to-100 / Gehry Partners, LLP

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

The world-renowned architect’s plans for the $150 million building, his only in Australia, were unveiled this morning at a media conference at the University of Technology, Sydney.

UTS has been working with Gehry Partners to design a world-class business school based on the idea of a tree-house structure. As Frank Gehry has put it, “a trunk and core of activity and… branches for people to connect and do their private work.”

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.

Section view of west elevation, model scale: 1-to-50 / Gehry Partners, LLP

The project inspired the Australian-Chinese business leader Dr Chau Chak Wing to donate a total of $25 million to UTS; $20 million to support the new building and an additional $5 million to create an endowment fund for Australia-China student scholarships. It is the equal largest ever philanthropic gift by an individual for a university in Australia.

UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Ross Milbourne said that while the building would undoubtedly become a Sydney landmark, the key element for the University was that it was conceived from the inside out with the needs of the UTS Business School and the University at heart.

“The UTS Business School is transforming itself with an emphasis on integrative thinking – producing students with boundary crossing skills as well as specialised knowledge,” Professor Milbourne said.

West elevation, model scale: 1-to-100 / Gehry Partners, LLP

“From the start Gehry Partners has worked closely with the School’s leadership, its academics and students to develop an environment that fosters and encourages this openness and collaboration in teaching and research, and engagement with business and the community.

“This is a building for all of Sydney. There will be extensive public spaces with an external design that complements and acknowledges its place within the immediate area and within the city.

“The project is already providing benefits for students outside the Business School, with four UTS architecture students selected for internships at Gehry Partners’ studios in Los Angeles.”

View north along Ultimo Pedestrian Network, model scale: 1-to-100 / Gehry Partners, LLP

The 11-storey Dr Chau Chak Wing building will stand at the corner of Ultimo Road and Omnibus Lane on a site that once housed the Dairy Farmers Cooperative and is currently being used as a car park.

Professor Milbourne said some elements of the schematic design were still fluid and will be subject to some modification, pending community consultation and authority approval. Community and stakeholder consultation will take place from 17 December to 14 January.

Construction is due to start in early 2012 and be complete in time for the 2014 academic year.

Ground floor plan / Gehry Partners, LLP

The Dr Chau Chak Wing Building is part of the ten-year $1 billion UTS City Campus Masterplan, which is helping transform the southern CBD and will deliver a cutting-edge and connected campus for staff, students and the broader community.

For more information on the project, including a fact sheet, high resolution images and video clips from an interview with Frank Gehry by Jana Wendt, visit: http://www.fmu.uts.edu.au/masterplan/media/drchau/

Cite: Jordana, Sebastian. "Dr Chau Chak Wing Building / Frank Gehry" 23 Dec 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 16 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=98271>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    This building resembles excrement left in a brown paper bag on someones doorstep. Sydney should stamp out the flames.

    The sad thing is UTS had an open competition and then were flattered by the celebrity of the ‘starchitect’

    UTS, do you think Gehry’s office cares about this building/even knows where it is? then again, obviously they don’t care about context or they wouldn’t be building the same thing all over the world…

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Design inspired by King Cobra and the bags they came in.

    Damn, it’s not April 1st. Merry Christmas everyone!

  3. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    It isn’t different – similar to Dusseldorf. I got the idea: celebrities not only architects just cannot stop and try to contaminate as much space as possible with their personality, it is sick; sort of addiction? If you prevent them they will start teach you :)

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Seems as though his buildings are becoming less creased cubic volumes, until eventually he’ll iron out all of his designs. Until everything is flat planes with 90 degree angles. At this point he might realise that he’s more of a sub par architect than starchitect, and will blow his brains out with a ridiculous deconstructivist gun that won’t do the job properly and leave him with a head like a shopping bag full of custard.


  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    They are doing a lot of new buildings at that campus.
    See below

    I think it responds very well to it’s context, and I dont think Simon even knows the context. UTS can get whom ever they please to build whatever they choose. It’s called being a private client. Kudos to them for having the balls to look beyond the local commercial practices that have done a bunch of very boring glass box building’s for the last ten years.
    If nothing else it will prove challenge and progress the local construction industry.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      So, I guess I was another ignoramus like Simon, unaware of the “context”. I checked the link you so generously provided, and noted the comment supplied to YouTube: “This 3D flythrough shows some of the amazing architecture that is helping transform UTS, including the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.” Yes, there are some unfortunate buildings in this scheme, but still, sorry, I cannot see how THIS fits there (or anywhere else). Fortunately, we have you as a resource to explain it to us.

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        Umm… I Think the idea is not to fit with the context. As a former student of UTS i can assure you the current context is inherently bad.

        Also to note that this is in a massive regeneration area for sydney as we’ve move from port town to world city over the last few decade. There is a massive old brewery site just across the road from the campus that will mark the new end to the CBD. So this building must be measured in a desired future context more then current.

        The main buildings of the campus were designed politically to be inhospitable to students interacting with each other, in an era of student riots. A second wave building in the 90′s did little change this. Including a design Faculty that doesn’t even contain anything close to a studio space.

        The great thing about the new masterplan and building wave is that it seems to finally be addressing the idea that students should be talking, chatting and generally interacting with other students.

        From what I’ve seen of drawings and model this has the ability to be a very good building. Although even if it’s bad it’ll still be the best building in the area.

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        I do actually know the campus quite well, i wouldn’t have mentioned it if i didn’t. I work fairly close by and walk through now and then.

        I think UTS are more probably more interested in the publicity the building will provide (and already has) than the quality of the Architecture.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Does he consider the environment in sydney? Does he know it is so hot in summer and the sunlight so harsh? Does he know the Gehry’s punched windows look like the 60s low cost apartment in Sydney? I agree with elaina, Gehry pls stop! I think you are a form maker and your projects in the past were great!

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The facade is once again reminiscent of a crumpled piece of paper, which says a lot about his design process…

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    gehry to draftsman: i have a 90s model in my drawer, why don’t you fit this to that project

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Gehry to draftsman: i have a 90s model in my drawer, why don’t you fit this to that project.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Just needs some brown beer bottles to be poking out the top of the “bags”, or perhaps they’re sick bags.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    At the beginning, these buildings were interesting. Now, I’m getting sick and tired of these things…

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      You think that the whole Australia or the city/context is full of this kind of buildings? And that’s why all the students and residents are sick of that too. Or you’re just another esthete architecture lover who has just browsed through a Gehry’s catalogue and you feel a little sick. You got your dose. Now be happy and let the talented do their work.

      In fact what Gehry does, he does good, and in every city there could possibly stand one of his buildings without anyone feeling sick.
      More, if you can see the details or impression then this is a new building (…in Gehry style. We can also blame Wright for designing family homes in his prairie style for years, not doing anything new). The crumpled facade gives a fresh effect and the glass sheet composition is fantastic. It’s just so simple, like a still life of a messy table. One needs to take things a little more broad-minded. The city doesn’t have to be a monotonous mass of one style buildings (with your own favored impression).

      Lets just hope that the plans work

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I’ve finally figured it out! Why people are so polarized by Gehry’s works, its that they cant copy it without being called out for it! Not as easy to use him as a precedent for anything. Kind of makes it impossible for the critical regionalist/new modernists hate…Its what they were being taught in school. No precedence no respect, LOL!!!

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Who wants to copy this?!?!?! Lacks from innovation. If every building suppose to have unic necessities, why is that Gery always get the same solution?

  13. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    You guys all sound very jealous: has any of your work been as innovating and world renown than Gehry’s?

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Archdaily, I believe there was my looong comment, made on October 19th. So, where it is? I demand explanation. What was so provoking about it, that you decided to delete it? Couldn’t even imagine, that Archdaily is editing peoples opinions. Shame on you! But still hope, it is some kind of technical mistake.

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        And yes, it was! Please, sorry, Archdaily, for accusing you. Taking all my bad words back. It really was an error. :)

  14. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    And by the way, the way Gehry creates his buildings was wittily depicted in Simpsons. That was hilarious! ;)

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