Façade fix the latest chapter in Building 10’s long story
- Restoration works to Building 10’s façade are wrapping up after more than a year.
- Sections of the façade were replaced, joints replaced and sections repainted.
- The building previously housed Fairfax printing presses and the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.
The question of which UTS building has the most interesting back-story may be open to debate but characterful Building 10 – which has just undergone restoration works – would surely be a contender.
Now the base for two UTS faculties – Health and Arts and Social Sciences – Building 10 has had other interesting tenants during its time. From the mid-1950s until the mid-1990s, it housed the printing presses of the Fairfax media empire, publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald. When Fairfax moved out, the Olympics moved in – specifically the Sydney Organising Committee for the 2000 Olympic Games (SOCOG), which became a UTS tenant when the university acquired the building in 1998.
The transformation begins
An architectural gem with a façade typical of its 1950s origins, Building 10 has been given a new lease on life since becoming part of the UTS campus.
A $60 million dollar transformation in 2002 saw it evolve from a dated commercial building into a welcoming and airy faculty hub. A 600 square metre, six-storey atrium – the showpiece of the design – floods the interior with light and has apparently become a popular venue for special functions, TV commercial and film shoots. The design by Bligh Voller Nield was the recipient of the 2003 Royal Australian Institute of Architects NSW Sir John Sulman Award for Public Architecture jury citation.
In 2010, the Aerial Function Centre opened on level 7 and three years ago the 14-storey building underwent further internal refurbishment of teaching, student and staff facilities to accommodate programs relocating from UTS’s former Kuring-gai campus. Most recently it was the turn of the façade to receive some TLC.
A much-needed facelift
Building 10 consists of a steel frame encased in concrete and topped with a polished granolithic stone render. Over the decades, the façade had become stained and cracked, and while periodic repairs had been carried out, more extensive restoration work was needed to ensure its stability.
That work began in November 2017 and in the 18 months since, sections of the façade, as well as joints, have been removed and replaced, and the façade strengthened. A surface coating was also applied to the exterior of the building, which will eventually weather to create a uniform appearance.
The works have been undertaken progressively, beginning at Wattle St and moving clockwise around the building to the Penny Lane side. Scaffolding, hoardings and swinging stages (work platforms) have all featured around the building’s exterior during the repair works, obscuring its true character for a time.
The good news is that the 15-month project is wrapping up, and with the scaffolding and hoarding being dismantled any day, Building 10 will be ready for the next stage in its fascinating journey – and, of course, those all-important orientation and graduation photos.