Location: Sydney, NSW
Photography: Tony Caro Architecture
Of particular interest in this brief was the request to express ideas based on conceptual aspirations, since spatial and functional requirements were yet to be determined. This meant careful consideration of the possible relationships between architecture, the public and the inhabitants, and the interactive influence of users on each other. The role of the new faculty expressed through an architecture of specific place/program identity and branding was also carefully considered. Further, how would these considerations be translated into an architectural dialogue that would best explore and represent these potentials.
The identity of UTS is unlike its counterparts UNSW and Sydney University. In its CBD location the campus is literally woven into the fabric of the city itself. It is not a peripheral or suburban campus of traditional or historic form with defined edges and easy delineation between its identifiable parts and the context that surrounds it. UTS is an integrated piece of the city itself, and as such has the opportunity to reflect the city’s dynamic complexity, energy and diversity.
Interpretable Iconography: The building should represent processes of creativity, learning and invention that through interaction allow interpretation and engagement. And through the process of interaction – interpretation – understanding, empower the user with new found knowledge of its meaning. The very act of using the building may become an education in itself.
Our submission is itself a conceptual diagram of the potential building. It is designed to ‘Intrigue – Inform – Empower’ the viewer, a process inherent to the process of education itself. The panels gold leaf surface is designed to attract and intrigue the viewer into interacting with the panels, to explore them and discover the information contained, and through this process of interaction to invest in the viewer a sense of knowledge and ownership that makes the viewer’s interaction with the presentation integral to the presentation itself.
The panels once open represent urban, architectural, social, and sustainability principles that would further define our approach to the design of this building. But the lingering effect will be the interactive discovery of the information hidden behind the panel’s hypnotic, shiny gold surface.