Gehry's tree house gets a builder
- Lend Lease, one of Australia's largest contractors, has been appointed by UTS to build the Frank Gehry-designed Dr Chau Chak Wing Building
- To open in mid-2014 at a total development cost of $180 million, the 12-storey building will house the UTS Business School
In a major milestone for Frank Gehry's first Australian project, UTS has appointed Lend Lease's project management and construction business to build the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building.
"This is a once-in-a-generation project and we want to make sure it meets both Gehry's vision and the University's long-term needs," said Vice-Chancellor Professor Ross Milbourne. "We are confident in Lend Lease's ability to deliver one of Sydney's most recognisable buildings."
UTS executed the main works contract with Lend Lease, one of Australia's largest contractors, following a two-stage tender process involving some of Australia's most reputable construction companies. Five companies, shortlisted in 2011, were invited to submit a final tender to UTS.
"The design of this building is extremely complex. We will use state-of-the-art construction methods including building information modelling to deliver the project," said Managing Director of Lend Lease's project management and construction business in Australia, Murray Coleman. "The result will be an exciting building, the likes of which has never been seen before in Sydney."
One of the key construction challenges presented by the project is its unique, undulating brick façade. East-facing, the façade will comprise some 320,000 bricks, all laid by hand in situ. The bricks, a reference to Sydney's sandstone heritage, will sit on top of a steel substrate constructed according to Gehry's design.
The Gehry Partners LLP team has worked closely with a local team, including Australian-based architect Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke and façade contractor Sharvain, to refine the design and determine the optimal construction methodology.
The Dr Chau Chak Wing building, named for the Australian-Chinese businessman and philanthropist, will open in mid-2014 at a total development cost of $180 million. The 12-storey building is located in Ultimo, on a site adjacent to both the ABC and the Powerhouse Museum.
Based on the concept of a tree house, the building will house the UTS Business School. Up to 2,390 students and staff will study and work in the building at any given time.
The project is a centrepiece of UTS's $1-billion City Campus Master Plan, a ten-year design and construction program that will transform both the university and the southern CBD.
For all images of the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building visit the media microsite.