Dr Chau Chak Wing Building
As the first Australian building designed by Frank Gehry, one of the world’s most celebrated architects, the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building is a flagship project of UTS’s billion-dollar-plus City Campus Master Plan.
It's such an inspiring space. There are different angles and something different every place you look, so that's really exciting as a student, to work in something that's different.
When I walk into the building, I just feel such a strange mix of emotions because it's such an unconventional space.
I think we've all been seeing the outside as it's been unfolding and be excited about what it might mean, but when you walk in - but the lovely warmth of the use of timber is the first thing that strikes me.
Frank Gehry described this as his dream building. It was a dream for him because it fulfilled an unrealised philosophy of education, the philosophy of a treehouse. A treehouse with a trunk of social spaces, branching into areas of discipline, knowledge and research.
The way that universities operate around the world is fundamentally changing. Students expect different things. They need to be prepared in different manners for their careers for the 21st century.
I'd like to think at UTS, we are approaching business as unusual, and for me, that's what this building says. This is the building as unusual - this is the place where you can sort of play with ideas.
The concept of collaboration, of working together and understanding other people's ideas and issues, has a great capacity to emerge in this type of environment.
Collaborative education is incredibly important because we all end up working in teams. The impact of the new building will be a potential for a much greater collaboration between students and lecturers.
For a start, the physical layout is going to change the way that we teach. This room breaks the way that we traditionally structure a room in terms of the teacher-student dynamic, so that's going to change the method and the technique with which we teach.
You've got collaboration in these new formal teaching spaces, and that's terrific, but I think the really exciting thing from both a teaching and learning perspective is that when class finishes, you see students sitting around putting all those ideas into practice.
The informal spaces in the building are essential to a postgraduate student. It's really essential that we have places that we can get together and collaborate, places that we can meet and work on things together.
Education is no longer about something where you're locked away for a few years, you learn things, then you go out and see what the real world is doing. More and more, industry needs to come back in.
It's a building that reaches out to the world. It goes beyond the walls. It really means that we can do here is become much more global. This new building will really have an impact on postgraduate education. What we do at UTS Business School has always been about collaboration with industry, it's about problem solving and it's about reframing problems so that we can come up with creative solutions.
We wanted a building that would differentiate UTS, that would highlight our commitment to creativity, innovation and connection.
It's shaping what the university says about itself, but it's also a marker to that creative, digital hub in which the whole university is now sitting.
This building really symbolises for me the innovation of UTS, the commitment of UTS to my education and to making sure that what I learn is world class.
It provides teaching, learning, research and office accommodation for the Business School – as well as extensive public spaces – across 11 occupied floors. While it is available to all students, it has a focus on postgraduate and executive education, and bringing UTS researchers together.
The building is named for Australian-Chinese businessman and philanthropist Dr Chau Chak Wing, who donated $20 million to the project, along with an additional $5 million for Australia-China scholarships. Dr Chau Chak Wing’s son studied architecture at UTS.
Located in the City Campus’s Haymarket precinct, the building is a landmark along the 'cultural ribbon' that extends from the Sydney Opera House down to UTS, taking in Darling Harbour and The Goods Line development.
Read more about the finished building and the UTS Business School here.
Project completed: November 2014
Teaching commenced: February 2015
Gross building area: 18,413m² over 12 levels (including plant) + 1 basement level
Location: Bounded by Ultimo Road, The Goods Line, Mary Ann Street and Omnibus Lane, Ultimo
Design: Gehry Partners
Executive Architect: Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke
Main works contractor: Lend Lease
Sustainability rating: 5 Star Green Star Design rating from the Green Building Council of Australia
Additional project team members included: AW Edwards (early works contractor); AECOM (services engineer); Arup (structural engineer, transportation and traffic); RPS (statutory planner); Casey & Lowe (archaeological consultant); Godden Mackay Logan (heritage assessment); Morris Goding Access Consulting (accessibility consultant); Wind Tech Consulting (wind assessment); AECOM (ecologically sustainable development); Australian Museum Consulting (Archaeological Investigation & Excavation); and Dominic Steele Consulting Archaeology (Aboriginal archaeological investigation).
UTS's unique Dr Chau Chak Wing Building is the recipient of the following awards:
- 2017 NSW Architecture Awards (Institute of Architects): Commendation for Educational Architecture (opens to external site)
- 2016 Australia Engineering Excellence Awards: Bradfield Award (for overall winner) and Excellence Award for Buildings and Structures (opens external site)
- 2016 Property Council of Australia Innovation & Excellence Awards: Woods Bagot Award for Best Public Building (opens external site)
- 2015 Master Builders Association National Excellence in Construction Awards: National Public Buildings Award – Over $50 Million (opens external site)
- 2015 Master Builders Association NSW Awards: Tertiary Buildings over $100m, Best use of Bricks and Best use of Architectural Steel
- Think Brick Awards 2015: Joint winner of the Horbury Hunt Commercial Award (opens external site) for the best commercial brick building in Australia
- 2015 Good Design Awards: Product Design – Hardware and Building Award (opens external site) for its custom-made bricks.
- 2015 Australian Timber Design Awards: People's Choice Award (opens external site) for oval classrooms
- 2015 AIQS (Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors) Infinite Value Awards: Innovation Project Award (opens external site).
The building was also:
Commended in the 2017 NSW Architecture Awards, Educational Architecture category
Finalist for the Green Building Award in the 2015 World Environment Day Awards.
- Top 10 category finalist in the biennial, international Wienerberger Brick Awards.
For more information about UTS sustainability awards, visit UTS Green.
- December 2010: Frank Gehry’s design for the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building unveiled
- November 2011: Excavation of the site begins
- November 2012: Main construction of the building gets underway
- August 2013: Work on the façade brickwork begins
- November 2014: Main construction on the structure reaches completion
- February 2015: Building opens for the start of teaching in Semester 1
The public levels (2-5) of the building are open from 8am-10pm weekdays and 8am-6pm weekends, with access via Ultimo Road, Mary Ann Street and The Goods Line in Ultimo. Visitors are welcome, but please be mindful that classes may be in progress.
For more information email email@example.com.
Explore the building in VR
Can’t get to the building in person? Take a virtual tour to explore all the key features of the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building.
UTS Business School
Find out more about the UTS Business School and its contemporary approach to business education.