Uni Hall to close as UTS readies for construction of dedicated Science research facility
A bold new campus development project is about to get underway that will see the closure of Building 4’s University Hall and construction of a dedicated Science research facility in its place.
Subject to development approval, the project will see the demolition of Uni Hall on level 2 of Building 4 and construction of a seven-level, high-tech research extension. The new facility will accommodate a range of labs.
Connecting seamlessly into Building 4’s existing wings along Harris and Thomas streets, the facility will adjoin the Building 1 podium to the west and face Bon Marche (Building 3) and the Harris St footbridge to the south.
Why are we doing this?
The short answer is, to meet increasing demand for high-tech research space at UTS – the very positive outcome of our growing research reputation. The extension to Building 4 would deliver:
- cutting-edge facilities for numerous research programs, including Advanced Analytical and Synthesis research labs
- the potential to generate greater engagement with industry and to inspire excellence in research
- additional, high quality facilities to support student outcomes, as part of our ongoing commitment to improving the City campus
- improved campus connectivity, with new pedestrian links between buildings 1 and 4, Alumni Green and Harris St
- a better-looking campus, especially when viewed from Harris St and Turner Lane.
When is it happening?
Uni Hall will close following its last event in late October 2017, ahead of its decommissioning and interior strip-out. While demolition of Uni Hall and construction of the new facility are currently subject to development approval by the City of Sydney, the ideal program would take the same approach as the Building 2 project and see the bulk of demolition and excavation works accomplished over the Christmas break, out of the main teaching sessions, to minimise noise and other impacts. Construction would follow, with the new Science research facility likely to open during 2019.
What will it look like?
The work of renowned architectural firm H2o – known for its striking university buildings in Victoria – the design for the Building 4 extension responds to our existing campus while making a bold statement about UTS’s future.
As the images above show, the design features an exterior metallic, shingle-style cladding with colourful window reveals. On Turner Lane, the façade draws inspiration from a lightning strike to embody UTS’s youthful energy and innovative spirit. Extensive glazing will allow for strong visual connections from the street and from within the building, while flooding the interiors with light.
Laboratory spaces will be built to respond to the changing needs of researchers with a focus on innovation, collaboration and flexibility.
What is the impact on UTS?
As with all major construction projects, particularly those in the heart of campus, it will have an impact on staff, students and others using surrounding buildings, footpaths and Turner Lane. However, plans are being developed to ensure inconvenience is minimised.
The key initial impact will be the loss of a major teaching and event space in Uni Hall. However, an alternative general teaching space (GTS) with comparable capacity in the Powerhouse Museum will serve as a stop-gap from Autumn session 2018 until multiple new state-of-the-art GTS come online with the opening of Building 2 in mid-2019.
More details coming soon
The final program for the Building 4 research extension is subject to approval by the City of Sydney. We hope to know more soon, so please watch this space for further project updates – in forthcoming editions of UTS:InProgress and in campus development news on the UTS website. For enquiries, please contact email@example.com.