Gehry’s vision: all systems go

Model of new UTS Business SchoolFrank Gehry’s first Australian building, UTS’s Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, has received planning approval from the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

“This is a major milestone in the design of an Australian architectural icon,” says UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Ross Milbourne. “We welcome this approval – it brings us one step closer to creating a world-class education precinct in Sydney’s southern CBD.”

The 12-storey building is located in Ultimo, on a site adjacent to both the ABC and the Powerhouse Museum. Up to 1256 students and 326 academic staff will study and work in the building.

The project was approved by the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure after a rigorous assessment, including a 30-day public exhibition and consultation process. Other key features of the approved project include: construction of a $1 million pedestrian link connecting the site to the Ultimo Pedestrian Network; installation of a gas-fired tri-generation plant enabling the building to generate its own power and achieve a five-star energy rating, and provision of 177 bicycle parking spaces for staff and students to encourage sustainable transport use.

“This building will be an asset to the Sydney community, and the heart of a transformation that encompasses Broadway, Darling Harbour and Barangaroo,” says Milbourne. “The collaborative nature of the design process will ensure the building is also an extraordinary asset for UTS students and academics.”

The Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, named after the Australian-Chinese businessman and philanthropist, will house the UTS Business School in 2014. Dr Chau donated $20 million for the building’s construction.

It is a key component of the wider $1 billion City Campus Master Plan redevelopment. Early works began on site in late 2011, with the European heritage archaeological excavation recently completed. The main excavation works are now proceeding. The main building works are to begin in mid 2012.

Story by James Stuart