Our design for the Great Hall and Balcony Room at the University of Technology Sydney [UTS] has created a dramatic new identity for the most important ceremonial space on campus. The signature element of the project is “The Mantle”, a fluid skin of perforated aluminium comprising more than 1000 unique facets. The Mantle lines the ceiling and walls, integrating lighting, audio-visual, fire and mechanical services into a dynamic whole, breathing new life into the space.
Beyond the initial brief we proposed “The Balcony Room”, a soaring reception space annexed to the Hall that capitalises on a commanding view across the future Alumni Green. The Balcony Room adapts a previously underused terrace, enclosing it to provide a link between the main building foyer and the rich, warm interior. – Photography © Brett Boardman [all rights reserved]
The Balcony Room, sits at the base of an iconic Brutalist tower, providing a bold new identity for the Great Hall in the external envelope and breathing new life into the campus. Glass ‘Pleats’ in the 11 meter high facade open up diagonal views across Alumni Green.
The lofty, light-filled Balcony Room overlooks Alumni Green, the University’s primary landscaped area. A sculptural light fitting (designed by DRAW) uses off-the-shelf light battens to animate the wall surface.
The Mantle comprises over 1000 unique perforated aluminium facets. Designed using Rhino and Grasshopper software, the surface seamlessly integrates audio-visual, lighting, fire, acoustic and mechanical services in a singular dramatic form.
Perforations provide acoustic attenuation across the surface of The Mantle. Two perforation sizes fluctuate through various fields of intensity and across panels to create the soft, organic, surface patination. Lighting is nested within the rhythm of peaks and valleys.
The LED media wall allows the mood of the space to be transformed to suit it’s various modes of use; from graduations, to lectures to the annual student Fashion show (pictured).
Natural light is drawn in through new openings in the roof structure. These roof lanterns reveal changes in light over the course of a day and reduce dependency on artificial lighting.
A mirrored ceiling and vertical strip lighting create the illusion of height in existing low-level aisles. Black velvet curtains improve on acoustic performance and allow the Hall to adapt to various spatial configurations.
The ‘Mantle’ is a fluid and formal addition that envelopes the ceremonial space of the Great Hall.
Roof lanterns wash the side wall in natural light. The yellow operable wall opens the two spaces up to each other allowing the Great Hall to spill out into the Balcony Room. Perfect for larger informal events such as City Campus Open Day.
Elements of the facade are operable allowing the Balcony Room to naturally ventilate for most of the year.
Parts of the Balcony Room cantilever two metres beyond the existing structure, creating intimate gathering spaces within the main volume. The self-shading “Pleats” frame oblique views of the landscape beyond. Of an evening the facade becomes more transparent exposing the life of the building and its occupants.
In addition to The Great Hall and Balcony Room, the project includes a new commercial kitchen, Mutli-function Space and involved complete new mechanical and electrical services. The project is part of the University’s multi-million dollar Master Plan which includes buildings designed by Gehry and Partners, Lacoste & Stevenson, PTW, Denton Corker Marshall and Durbach Block Jaggers.
[Photography © Brett Boardman, all rights reserved]
REFLECTED CEILING PLAN.
SEE COMPETITION ENTRY AND CONSTRUCTION PROCESS HERE.
THERE ARE SOME FANTASTIC PHOTOS OF THE HALL IN ACTION ON Anna Zhu’s SITE ~
PROJECT: UTS Great Hall and Balcony Room
LOCATION: Broadway, Ultimo, Sydney.
YEAR: 2010 ~ 2011.
CLIENT: University of Technology , Sydney
GROSS FLOOR AREA: 1,985 sqm
VALUE: $8.5M AUD
Competition Phase: Adam Russell, John de Manincor, Fransisco Layson, Chris Steinbach.
Design Development / Documentation: John de Manincor, Adam Russell, Fransisco Layson, Lorraine Yip, Zana Wright, Raffaello Rosselli, Nick Sargent, Leisa Tough.
Competition Phase: Kann Finch Group (Collaborating Architects), Steensen Varming (Environment / Mechanical / Electrical /Lighting) ARUP (Acoustics / Structure), MBM (Cost Advice)
Design Development / Documentation: Kann Finch Group (Collaborating Architects), Steensen Varming (Environment / Mechanical / Electrical /Lighting), Audio Systems Logic (Acoustics), Simpson Design Associates (Structure), Warren Smith and Partners (Hydraulics/Fire), Blackett Maguire + Goldsmith (BCA), Aquenta (Cost Planner), Philip Chun (Fire Engineering), The Mack Group (Commercial Kitchen)
FACADE: Facade Innovations
MANTLE: Facade Innovations
FACADE ENGINEER: Surface Design
DETAILED MANTLE MODELLING : AR-MA
PHOTOGRAPHY: © Brett Boardman [all rights reserved]
JOB NUMBER: 1007