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UTS Sydney – Building 10 FASS & FoH Upgrade Project

  • Sector
    Education
  • Client
    University of Technology Sydney
  • Date Completed
    November 2015
  • Budget
    $18 million

In 2014, GWA were selected from a shortlist of five leading architectural firms to design and implement a large scale upgrade of CB10 for two key faculties – the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) and the Faculty of Health – Nursing & Midwifery (FoH). Seven floors of CB10 were earmarked for the new FASS and FoH occupants – spaces required consisted of a wide variety of functions: teaching labs for Science and Arts subjects; clinical labs for Nursing and Midwifery; general teaching and computing spaces; offices for academics and support staff; executive offices for the FoH Dean’s Unit and a showcase Activity Based Environment for HDR students of both faculties.

 

Creating new and successful learning environments is not solely based on good design. Stakeholder input is critical to the design process. GWA facilitated several stakeholder workshops and developed a robust brief that encapsulated not only how the end users currently work and communicate but also how their future aspirations could be met.

As part of this project, UTS and GWA had the opportunity to explore how current commercial workplace solutions could be adapted to provide new kinds of learning environments. This Activity Based Environment (ABE) provides a greater level of amenity, beyond the conventional open plan and shared offices models. Here GWA adopted design principles that maximised adaptability and flexibility; improved visual connectivity via planning and material selection and maximised natural light and external views. The final goal is that this ABE will be a prototype for future projects within UTS.

Integrating the new requirements into CB10 proved to be a highly complex and challenging exercise – only two of the seven allocated floors would be completely unoccupied at the time of construction. Thus working in live environments, workplace safety and minimising disruption to existing occupants were key considerations during all project stages.

A significant element of the new teaching spaces and laboratories is virtual classroom technology. UTS FASS and FoH are at the forefront of virtual teacher and nursing training, with their classes and research extending globally beyond the physical classroom. GWA’s design proposals enabled seamless integration of technology into new and existing spaces, whether these were dedicated ‘classrooms’ or accidental spaces where students may gather.