On a prominent urban site, the Broadway Building for the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology will form the gateway to a revitalised UTS City Campus and Sydney’s southern CBD.
Broadway Building forms a primary campus gateway on Broadway and Jones Street
Selected from over 60 entries in an international two-stage design competition, the design engages with the urban context and – making a clear statement that it is a university of technology building – conveys the university’s position at the intersection of creativity and technology.
The Faculty is expressed as a singular sculptural object, setting it apart from the more traditional architectural expression of its neighbours and from proposed towers by Jean Nouvel and Foster Associates at the Fraser Broadway Development opposite the site.
Enveloping the building’s volume are four tilted and skewed plates (one for each facade) which form a series of triangular corner openings extending to ground level that mark the building’s entrances. ‘Gills’ creased into the surface of each plate punctuate the facade, visually reinforcing the sense of plate as skin and symbolically allowing the building to breathe.
The western gateway to the campus on Broadway and Wattle Street is marked with clear and legible entry
Further permeability is established by perforating the building’s skin. Screens made of aluminium sheets are perforated with the “1s” and “0s” of the binary code and applied to the angled plates; the pattern created is a re-working of the binary sequence for ‘University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Engineering and information Technology’.
The screens operate at multiple scales, the transparency adjusting depending on proximity to the building. Up close, they offer clear visibility; from a distance the screens appear uniform and continuous.
Concealed within are 12 floor levels above ground, with another four levels below, for research laboratories, lecture theatres, seminar rooms, teaching laboratories, academic and administration offices and car parking. Publicly accessible uses include a lecture complex, student union and retail outlets located to activate street edges.
A crevasse-like linear atrium penetrates the basic volume both vertically and horizontally, around which the teaching, learning and social spaces are distributed for function and flexibility.
The crevasse provides natural light and pedestrian access through the building, and directly links the UTS education precinct to the local neighbourhood.
Bridges and lounges for informal exchange are scattered across the crevasse, creating a dynamic interior experience.
An extensive range of environmentally sustainable design initiatives make a substantial contribution to achieving best practice standards in the Faculty accommodation. The design targets a minimum 5-star Green Star rating, and is expected to deliver an energy saving of 30- 45%, a potable water saving of 20-30% and a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over benchmark tertiary educational buildings with similar functional spaces. The shading of the binary code screen alone is estimated to bring about a 10%-15% operational energy saving.
The Broadway Building is part of the university’s City Campus Master Plan, a broader strategy to create a vibrant and connected education precinct.
At night the Faculty glows through the binary screen and pulsates with embedded LED displays.
Project facts and credits
Client: University of Technology Sydney
Architecture: Denton Corker Marshall
Images: Denton Corker Marshall