UTS campus walking tour
Please be mindful that students and staff are working on campus. Take care not to disrupt them and only photograph people if you have permission. Some specialist facilities and teaching spaces can only be viewed from outside; please don't try to enter locked or occupied spaces.
1. Building 1, UTS Tower
Level 4 lobby, Broadway
The Tower (Building 1) is the largest and tallest UTS campus building, with 27 occupied levels. Now more than 40 years old, it has a long and varied history.
- Originally a hub of teaching and learning, the Tower is now mostly used by UTS admin and support staff. Teaching spaces have moved to medium-rise buildings where it’s easier to move large numbers of students using stairs and escalators, as well as lifts.
- This lobby holds many campus events, including Orientation events and activity days, and our Students Association puts on free meals for students here – the Bluebird brekkie bar and Night Owl noodles.
- The Great Hall on level 5 hosts UTS graduations and special events, such as the UTS fashion show where design students showcase their work each year to industry and the general public.
- Informal study spaces are spread across levels 5 and 6, giving students a good excuse to use the disco-light escalators!
- The lower levels also hold various student services including medical services and counselling, the HELPS English language skills service, and the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, which supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
- Construction of the Tower began in 1969 and it was officially opened in 1979 by then-NSW Premier Neville Wran. Designed by the NSW Government Architect, the Tower originally housed the NSW Institute of Technology, which became UTS in 1988. At one time, there were plans to build up to seven towers, although only one and a half were built, the ‘half’ being the original UTS Building 2 that was demolished in 2016 to make way for UTS Central.
- The UTS Tower has been voted the Ugliest Building in Sydney in a Sydney Morning Herald online poll, thanks to its brutalist architectural style – but it’s also a loved Sydney icon and a prominent landmark on the CBD skyline. Students have given it the nickname the Jenga building because it looks like giant Jenga blocks.
Walk past the escalators on level 4 to the internal connection to Building 2 and stop at the Student Learning Hub.
2. Building 2, UTS Central
Level 4 Student Learning Hub and double helix stairs
UTS Central (Building 2) opened in August 2019 and is our newest campus building. With 17 levels of occupied space, it’s home to the UTS Library and Reading Room, the Faculty of Law, the Hive Superlab and much more.
- Over the past decade, UTS has spent more than $1 billion dollars transforming our campus, including building three new faculty buildings for Science, Engineering and IT, and Business. UTS Central is very different. It's a hub for students from every faculty to study and socialise, and accommodates general teaching spaces, a range of student services and more.
- The Student Learning Hub is a central point where students can access a variety of support services from across the university. Pop-ups and face-to-face help from key services is available here during our academic sessions when they are most needed.
- Around the corner, UTS Careers provides a drop-in service for students wanting help with resumés, career counselling, job search skills and interview skills.
- Ahead, the double helix stairs are one of the building's most striking features, connecting levels 4 to 7. The double-ribbon design is inspired by the double helix structure of human DNA. Visible from inside and outside the building, the stairs are a reminder of how breakthroughs in science have transformed our world. The dual sets of stairs also allow movement through the building without reliance on lifts.
- Three world-first large collaborative classrooms are on levels 5, 6 and 7, the two biggest holding 350 students. UTS academics collaborated on the design, which supports active and collaborative learning, shown to improve learning outcomes. Multiple presenter points allow students to directly feed into classes. These purpose-designed spaces are replacing traditional lecture theatres across UTS.
- UTS Library, spanning levels 7 to 9, includes two outdoor terraces, plus lots of indoor group and individual study spaces. Level 9 is for silent study. The Library is open to all students and staff. Visitors need to register for a day-pass at the Library’s website.
- Other student study areas are scattered throughout this building, with many offering a view onto surrounding streets. You'll find plenty of charge points with USB, USB-C and three-prong power options too.
- The Faculty of Law on levels 12–14 has a new Moot Court and trial courts designed to simulate the real-life experience of the NSW Supreme and District courts for UTS law students.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS: Continue to explore Building 2 via the three optional tours below.
Otherwise, exit through the level 4 Jones St lobby (at the corner with Broadway) and cross Jones St to Building 11.
Level 5 UTS Reading Room
Climb the double helix stairs to level 5 and follow the signs to the UTS Reading Room, a place for quiet reading, study and contemplation. A retreat from the fast-paced, technology-driven world outside, it’s open to UTS students and staff, and to the public during Library opening hours.
- The design of the Reading Room is inspired by the great reading rooms of universities around the world but given a contemporary twist to reflect the values of UTS.
- A sense of expanse is created by the three-level atrium topped by a large skylight that offers views of the Library terrace above. Armchairs along the façade face outwards to Alumni Green, the ‘green heart’ of our campus. The timber desks are architecturally designed, with individual lights and charge points.
- An internal spiral staircase links level 5 with level 6 above. Shelves across both levels hold books from the Library’s collection, which can be borrowed by students and staff using self-service machines. The majority of the physical collection is now contained in the high-tech Library Retrieval System, buried under Alumni Green. When books are ordered online they are retrieved by robots and transported to the Library reserve room via a dedicated book lift.
- The UTS Library sits above the Reading Room, with windows looking down from level 7.
- Metallic geometric sunshades along the windows, purpose-built by a local industrial design firm, manage sun penetration from the north, with the two lower rows responding automatically to the position of the sun through the day.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS: Continue to explore Building 2 via the two optional tours below.
Otherwise, return to level 4 and exit through the Jones St lobby (at the corner with Broadway) and cross Jones St to Building 11.
Level 1 Hive Superlab
Take the lift to level 1 and exit right to view the Hive Superlab, named for the hexagonal features and interactive ‘buzz’ within this colourful, world-class, collaborative teaching lab.
- The Hive Superlab is a step up from our original Superlab in Building 7, in terms of size and the types of experiments that can be done inside.
- The Hive accommodates up to 270 students at a time and is used by undergrad and higher degree students, with classes including Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pharmacology and Immunology.
- Specialist audio-visual technology includes bone conduction headphones, which sit on the temple rather than the ear, allowing students to hear their facilitator through their skull bone while still hearing their classmates during collaborative activities.
- Each coloured space features individual audio-visual facilities, allowing up to seven classes to run simultaneously. This model enhances opportunities for collaboration, allowing students from different disciplines to work side by side
- The Hive has been designed to a Physical Containment Level 2 (PC2) standard, which determines the kinds of biological materials that can be used in experiments. In this lab, our students will get hands-on – or ‘gloves-on’ – experience studying materials that could include food poisoning organisms like pathogenic E. coli and Salmonella, and organisms that can cause serious infections like golden staph.
OPTIONAL: Continue to explore Building 2 via the optional tour below.
Otherwise, return to level 4 and exit through the Jones St lobby (at the corner with Broadway) and cross Jones St to Building 11.
Level 3 food court
Take the lift or escalator to level 3 to the UTS Central food court, which feeds thousands of hungry people each week. It's also a popular space to gather for coffee and a chat or informal meetings with classmates and colleagues.
- The food court offers a diverse array of cuisines through seven takeaway outlets such as PappaRich, Mad Mex, Cha Time and Sushi World, plus the sit-down Terrace café.
- A world-leader for sustainability, the food court has replaced all single-use plastic packaging with alternatives that can be recycled or composted, such as bamboo, cardboard and PLA.
- PLA (Polylactic Acid) is made from plant matter and is often called ‘bio-plastic’ as it can be broken down and composted, unlike regular plastics that are made from petroleum products.
- All food court packaging is collected, along with food waste, and sent to a commercial composting facility where heat and water are added, creating compost in three to four months.
- UTS has reduced our waste to landfill by around 20 tonnes a year by collecting and composting waste.
Exit via the steps up to the Jones St lobby (at the corner with Broadway) and cross Jones St to Building 11.
3. Building 11, Faculty of Engineering
Exterior and level 2 atrium
The aluminium screens around the Faculty of Engineering and IT building feature a pattern of binary code 1s and 0s (computer language), which spells out ‘University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology’. Since the building opened in 2014, students have given it a distinctly low-tech nickname – ‘the cheesegrater’.
- The large internal atrium maximises natural light through the public spaces and internal workspaces, while a network of internal stairs – said to look like the Hogwarts staircases from Harry Potter (although ours don’t move!) – are designed to encourage active movement rather than reliance on lifts. A walk up to level 12 for a spectacular view down is highly recommended.
- One of the building's most unique spaces is a high-tech Data Arena, an interactive data visualisation facility which projects images on a 360-degree screen, including in 3D. The Data Arena provides a powerful way to identify patterns, associations and anomalies in big data.
- Across the 12 levels are also collaborative theatres, event spaces, the Women in Engineering and IT Breakout Space, Electrical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering Labs.
- There are many spaces for individual and collaborative study, including some on the floors below ground such as the unique ‘Ark’ on level B1, named for its boat-like shape. All buildings are open to all students, regardless of their faculty, so all students are welcome to use these informal study spaces.
- Building 11 has many sustainable features include a rooftop wind turbine, solar panels, water recycling and a recharging station for electric vehicles. About 20% of the building's energy is generated by the technology on the roof.
- Alongside Building 11 is the Penny Lane laneway, a pedestrian walkway connecting Jones St to Wattle St. The wall mural incorporating Australian native flora and fauna is by the local artist Ox King and was commissioned by UTS in 2019 as part of an upgrade of the laneway.
Exit via the Penny Lane café and bar on level 1, cross the laneway into Building 10 and stop in the atrium.
4. Building 10, Faculty of Health and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Level 2 atrium
This vintage building accommodated several high-profile organisations before being acquired by UTS and reinvented for higher education. Today, it houses specialist facilities for our Faculty of Health and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, as well as our main Student Centre.
- Sometimes known as the Fairfax building, this building was home to the offices of the Sydney Morning Herald, run by the Fairfax company, for many years. It was also used for the Sydney Olympics, as the base for the Organising Committee, before it became part of UTS in the early 2000s.
- The building interior was transformed when UTS took occupation, with a fit-out that acknowledged the original art deco style and won the prestigious Royal Australian Institute of Architects NSW Sir John Sulman Award for Public Architecture. The refurbishment included the creation of this light-filled six-level atrium.
- The building includes 16 nursing and midwifery simulation labs, which are set up like wards to replicate real hospital environments. Inside, students work with simulation manikins that provide hands-on experience of managing asthma, heart attacks, burn wounds and other conditions.
- The Student Centre on level 2 offers students administration support, providing information about fees and enrolments, and producing student cards.
Exit the atrium through the main doors to Jones St and stop on the Alumni Green lawn ahead.
5. Alumni Green
Three distinct zones
Alumni Green is one of the social centres of the UTS campus and provides a physical and visual connection between many of the main faculty buildings. For obvious reasons, it's known as the ‘green heart’ of our campus.
- Alumni Green was reimagined as part of our recent campus transformation and is divided into three distinct zones.
- The lawn area is well-used social space, often filled with deck chairs on sunny days. It’s also a ‘green roof’ for the underground Library Retrieval System, an automated storage space where around 80% of the Library’s collection is now stored.
- The paved area is set up for events and pedestrian movement, similar to Federation Square in Melbourne.
- At the far end, a garden area filled with lunch tables and ping pong tables is a shady oasis and meeting space.
Turn left across the 'Green' towards the colourful doors of Building 7 near the Jones St corner.
6. Building 7, Vicki Sara (Science) Building
Level 2 auditorium
Level 1 Science Super Lab and ProtoSpace
The Vicki Sara Building opened in 2015 and is named after a former UTS Chancellor, although it's often known as ‘the Wave Building’. Together with Building 4 next door, it houses our Faculty of Science.
- Awarded a 6-star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, the building's sustainability features include a green roof/terrace, which you can see from Alumni Green. Beds of native plants provide a habitat for inner-city birds and insects, while insulation regulates internal temperatures. Rainwater is collected and used for landscaping and toilet-flushing.
- Down the stairs behind the café on level 2 is the Green Auditorium, the only lecture theatre in the building. Other spaces are designed in the UTS collaborative style with tables set up for groups. Green was selected to reflect the building’s green credentials. The lights in the Green Auditorium are made from conical flasks typically used in science labs.
- Continuing on down the stairs, you'll find a 52-metres-long Science Super Lab, which has space for up to 220 students and was the first of its kind in Australia when it opened in 2014. Its specialist equipment and technology includes AV that allows up to 12 different classes to run at once, enhancing opportunities for students to engage with other disciplines, supporting the cross-pollination of ideas.
- Opposite is ProtoSpace, a unique additive and advanced manufacturing facility offering industry partners, academics and UTS students access to cutting-edge 3D printing technologies and expertise. ProtoSpace is focused on innovation, research and development, and supports all aspects of the 3D manufacturing process, from component design, manufacturing investigations and prototyping all the way through to final product research and development.
- Below on level 0 (not accessible) is the Crime Simulation (CSI) Lab, which recreates various crime scenes typical of break-and-enter, suspicious death, stabbings, shootings or poisoning. It's used by our Forensic Science students.
- Also on level 0 is the secure, high-tech Biologics Innovation Facility which opened in 2019. Specialist researchers work in highly quarantined labs on biotech research and development. The facility is open to industry partners and is also training the next generation of Australia’s biotech industry.
OPTIONAL: Continue to explore Building 7 via the optional tour below.
Otherwise, exit at level 3, turn right along Jones St and Thomas St, before turning left towards UTS Building 15 at number 632 Harris St.
Tiled stairs and lightwell
Continue down the corridor past the Super Lab and ProtoSpace, and climb the up the spiral stairs to level 7. At the top, glance down to take in the inviting sculptural form of the stairs, which twist down five flights.
- This signature architectural staircase spirals from levels 7 to 2 and features a light well lit by the skylight above.
- Natural light is maximised throughout the building by the use of large windows, lightwells and skylights, and is reflected to lower levels by the mosaic walls covered in tiles sourced from Spain.
Return to level 3, turn left and walk right along Thomas St, before turning into the first entry to Building 4.
7. Building 4, Faculty of Science
Level 2 Ross Milbourne Sports Hall, ActivateFit.Gym and Chinese Medicine Clinic
Adjoining the Vicki Sara Building is the other Faculty of Science Building, which is largely given over to labs, classrooms and student spaces. However, it also accommodates a gym, a Chinese medicine clinic and a multi-purpose sports hall.
- Opposite the Thomas St entry, the Ross Milbourne Sports Hall is a centre for social sports, with the multi-purpose sports court used for netball, volleyball and more. The sports hall's design makes a feature of the site's natural sandstone, illuminated by an entry light well.
- Past the stairs on the right, the ActivateFit.Gym is a mecca for all UTS fitness fans, and is also open to the public. This well-equipped gym offers a range of classes, including yoga and Pilates, personal training, tailored corporate health programs and discounted memberships to students as well as UTS staff and alumni.
- On the other side of the Harris St entry lobby, the UTS Chinese Medicine Clinic runs several outpatient clinics offering treatment from qualified staff or student interns at a significant discount. These include clinics for acupuncture, herbal medicine and remedial massage.
Exit via the doors next to the Chinese Medicine Clinic, turn left and walk to UTS Building 15 at number 632 Harris St.
8. Building 15, UTS Animal Logic Academy and UTS Startups
This mid-century building was once home to TAFE signwriting students. While reminders of Building 15’s signwriting past remain, along with many of its heritage features, it's now a ‘knowledge hub’ with varied innovation and entrepreneurship uses. Building 15 is not open to the public at this time.
- Building 15 is home to the UTS Animal Logic Academy, a partnership between UTS and the Australian animation and visual effects studio Animal Logic behind films like Happy Feet and the Lego Movie. The Academy features a custom-built VFX studio and operates like a professional studio, with each student cohort completing a major animation project using a combination of established film VFX processes and emerging technologies like virtual reality.
- Building 15 is also is one of the buildings used by UTS Startups, the home of student entrepreneurship at UTS. The program offers free co-working space, connections with industry, participation in pitch nights and mentoring for students to help guide their innovative business ideas into reality.
Continue past Building 15, turn right into Mary Ann St and enter Building 8 at the door next to Café 80.
9. Building 8, UTS Business School
Levels 2 and 3
Building 8 was the first building in the southern hemisphere designed by renowned Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, who is known for his unique designs. Named for the philanthropist who helped fund its construction, the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building opened in 2015 and is home to the UTS Business School.
Frank Gehry’s design philosophy is inspired by a treehouse, with a central ‘trunk’ for formal and informal collaboration and ‘branches’ of breakout spaces for individual and focused work.
Soon after completion, the building became known as the crumpled brown paper bag. It’s made from approximately 320,000 custom-made and locally-sourced bricks, which give the building its organic shape and respond to the surrounding urban environment.
The western façade is a glass curtain wall, which reflects surrounding buildings and allows natural light to stream into the public atrium.
Sustainable materials were selected wherever possible and include recycled timber and ‘green concrete’, which incorporates recycled materials. This helped the building to achieve its 5-star Green Star rating.
Two oval classrooms are constructed from 150 large laminated timber beams, each weighing up to two tonnes, with the longest measuring 12 metres. The classrooms seat more than 50 people and are designed to support 360° engagement. They’re among a number of collaborative learning spaces throughout the building.
Past the concierge desk, the feature polished steel staircase invites you to walk up to level 3. Creating a sculptural focal point in the main lobby, the stair with its mirrored surface reflects the movement of both people and ideas.
Exit Building 8 on level 3 at The Goods Line.
The Goods Line
From The Goods Line, if you turn left, you'll see how close the UTS campus is to Darling Harbour. The old brick building at the end of The Goods Line is the iconic Powerhouse Museum. Building 5 nearby is an old market building and features a distinctive red-brick bell tower.
- The Goods Line is a shared pedestrian and cycle path, and green public space, built along an old rail line that was part of Sydney’s early freight rail system, starting in the 1850s. The Goods Line opened in 2015 and connects Central Station to UTS, the ABC, Chinatown, the Powerhouse Museum and the Darling Harbour precinct.
- UTS holds some classes in the Powerhouse Museum in two large theatres, a traditional lecture theatre and a large collaborative classroom that holds up to 400 students.
- Darling Harbour's recent rejuvenation coincides with the transformation of the UTS campus, delivering a new International Convention Centre that hosts concerts, exhibitions and events. The Darling Square neighbourhood includes food courts, restaurants, shops and residential accommodation. There are also new hotels, student accommodation and outdoor areas.
- Turn right along The Goods Line, and take the steps down to Ultimo Rd just before the ABC building. Cross Ultimo Rd and head towards the old bell tower on the corner of Quay St, which stands outside Building 5. The bell used to ring in the start and end of the trading day when the building was a produce market, and more recently sounded the start of the academic year.
- Building 5 was home to the former UTS Library and Faculty of Law, which have both moved to Building 2. Building 5 still holds many classrooms and computer labs. It’s also the home for the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation, where courses straddle traditional faculty boundaries to encourage creative, entrepreneurial and highly collaborative practices.
- Take the first entry on Quay St and make your way into the Green Space (its colour is a giveaway). This is a popular student study area for students who have classes in Building 5 but it's open to all UTS students. Various zones include shared tables for collaboration, lounges, individual workstations and a student kitchen. Further informal student spaces are located throughout the building, including two large courtyards, and two lounges in block B on levels 4 and 5.
Walk to the far side of the Green Space and out to Darling Drive. Turn left and make your way back to The Goods Line, past the ABC building and take the escalator to Building 6. Walk through to the courtyard.
11. Building 6, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building
Level 4 courtyard and UTS Art Gallery
Named for Peter Johnson, the first UTS chancellor, Building 6 is home to many specialist studios as well as classrooms and general teaching spaces. The large towers above Building 6 are Yura Mudang, a UTS Housing complex that provides more than 700 beds and is just one accommodation option on or close to campus.
- Creative workshops include fashion and textiles studios, a textiles print workshop, a fabrication workshop and a Photomedia studio.
- Animation labs give students access to industry-standard technologies, while a motion-capture studio uses cameras to capture human facial and body movements that can be replicated by an animated character – the technology used to create characters like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings.
- Newly refurbished architecture studios simulate commercial architecture environments, with open-plan work and presentation areas.
- A state-of-the-art digital maker space holds multiple 3D printers and laser cutters, allowing students and staff to create three-dimensional prototypes directly from a computer-generated design.
- Continue through the courtyard and stop by the UTS Gallery, which is open to the public and stages different exhibitions across the year, including the work of UTS graduating students. Sign up to their newsletter at their website to be kept informed about upcoming openings and events.
Exit the UTS Gallery onto the footbridge and head towards the UTS Tower.
12. Building 3, Bon Marche Building and Building 4 Research Facility
To the left of the footbridge, Building 3 is one of our vintage buildings and noticeable for its distinctive cupola on the corner of Harris St and Broadway. At the other side of the footbridge is our newest building, a specialist research facility with a bold lightning strike façade design.
- Bon Marche (Building 3) accommodates many specialist facilities for the Communication department within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences or FASS. They include sound and music labs, media arts and production labs for video making, journalist rooms, a Green Room for filming, and a resource centre where students can borrow video and sound equipment.
- When the building opened in 1909 it was the site of a department store operated by Marcus Clark & Co, which took its name from the Parisian department store Le Bon Marche, which is still in operation. Translated from French, le bon marche means ‘the good market’ or ‘the good deal’.
- The new high-tech research facility, completed in mid-2020, will primarily be used by the Faculty of Science, with researchers working across the pharmaceutical, biological, clinical, food, environmental, energy and materials industries.
Walk past Buildings 3 and 4 through the automatic door to return to the Building 1 lobby where you started the tour.