The studio aimed to bring clarity and gravitas to the UTS Bon Marche precinct. Students engaged in critical architectural investigation and speculation via programmatic, spatial and formal enquiry. New programs wrestled with existing movement networks, spaces and historic building fabric. The positions of various stakeholders (the UTS Chancellery, the Loft Bar, Radio 2SER, the Facilities Management Unit, UTS Housing and so on) were incorporated into a detailed series of research and design exercises aimed towards developing an understanding of the potentials and limitations of the project. The studio outputs primarily consisted of diagrams, physical models and orthographic drawings.
One project to emerge from this studio was Urban Hinge, which aims to ‘hinge’ the Bon Marche precinct back into the campus physically and programmatically. In doing so, the site will be transformed into an attractive destination for students, staff, neighbours and visitors. To avoid over-determination of spaces and functions, the vast interior space throughout the building has been given particularly distinctive spatial qualities. Users are attracted according to their preference and nest into the space, building their own comfort zones.