University of Sydney
This project articulates the importance that the University of Sydney places on investing in research and teaching excellence.
Warren and Mahoney won an invited design competition for the City Rd Precinct development comprising a new administration building (F23) and the redevelopment of the Carslaw Building as LEES 1 (Life, Earth & Environmental Sciences) building. The project presents an opportunity for a visionary new campus gateway and centre of scientific and academic excellence.
The City Rd Precinct enables a culture of collaboration, opportunity for interaction, and mechanism to build stronger research and administrative communities. The buildings embrace contemporary best practice in laboratory, educational, and workplace design to deliver efficient, flexible, and enduring assets.
The F23 building reflects the aspirations of the University to deliver new levels of transparency and accessibility. The building allows clear sight lines across the ground plane visually connecting Eastern Avenue to St Paul’s Oval to the west. The disconnected alignment of Butlin Avenue and Eastern Avenue is mediated through F23 which, along with LEES 1, forms the critical ‘hinge’ and ‘gateway’ that links the old Camperdown campus with the new Darlington Campus.
Transparency is carried up into the building to ensure the leadership and administration of the University are visible and accessible. A clear embodiment of the University’s vision and value proposition that leadership is a culture, not a person. The building is shaped by its immediate context, responding to the tree line of St Pauls’ Oval, the main Campus axis established by Eastern Avenue and views down City Road to Victoria Park and City Beyond. A threshold moment is established with a generous undercroft providing shade and shelter, a gathering space, a key contribution to improving the amenity and definition of Eastern Avenue as it terminates at City Rd.
The LEES 1 project articulates the importance that the University places on investing in research and teaching excellence. The University’s fundamental commitment has traditionally been, and will remain, research excellence while at the same time developing a supportive, inclusive, and high performance teaching culture across the entire university. The building places science on display to the campus and the broader community through a highly transparent façade to City Road and carefully framed views into the building from Eastern Avenue.
The building’s façade is highly articulated on its western side to mediate between the strict orthogonal grid that characterises the Camperdown Campus and Eastern Avenue, and the shift in geometry, speed, and articulation that defines City Rd. The building cantilevers over the existing footbridge, its built form establishing a clear relationship with F23, creating a tension that defines a threshold to the campus. The overhangs provide shade and shelter to the northern end of the existing footbridge and ramp, drawing this existing structure into an integral composition that gives greater definition to Eastern Avenue as it meets City Road.
The building occupies a tapering site between the existing Carslaw Building and a row of significant Fig Trees. Responding to these constraints is a building layout that provides flexible and reconfigurable teaching and research laboratories able to suit a variety of occupants.