DCM’s digital vision wins UTS comp

Aug 4, 2009
  • Article by Online Editor

Denton Corker Marshall (DCM) has been announced as the winner of the UTS architectural competition to design the gateway to UTS’ City Campus, the Broadway Building.
Sited on the corner of Broadway and Wattle Streets, it is hoped the $170 million building will play an important role in the university’s City Campus Master Plan, which aims to create a vibrant and connected education precinct.
The design reads as two “binary screens” tilted together across a crevasse-like pedestrian atrium running through the heart of the building, both horizontally and vertically, connecting the campus to its surrounding neighbourhood. These screens are made of aluminium sheets perforated with binary code. This symbolic design move reflects UTS’ desire to position itself as an institution at the cross roads of technology and creativity, but the screens will also serve a functional role as shading and ventilation.
The design as a whole targets a minimum 5-Star Green Star rating, and it is estimated the binary screens alone will bring a 10 to15 percent operational energy saving. All teaching, learning, research and social spaces are clustered around the internal atrium, providing strong access to daylight and fresh air for staff, students and visitors. The semi-transparent nature of the binary screens also offers visual connections between internal activities and the public domain.
The winning proposal was selected as part of a two-stage competition, run by the university. The first stage of the competition, involving the submission of ideas together with capability statements, received submissions from a wide range of national and high profile international practices (DRAW/BIG, Candalepas Associates/Miralles Tagliabue, and Terroir/ Foreign Office Architects among others). Seven Australian practices were selected to participate in Stage two of the competition, incorporating six teams: Bates Smart, BVN Architecture, Cox Richardson, Denton Corker Marshall, Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, and Lacoste Stephenson + Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke.
While the competition has been hailed as a positive precedent for Sydney, given it was based upon an initial ideas submission, some described the lack of submissions from any of the smaller architectural practices in the final shortlist as a lost opportunity.
Sydney-based emerging practice Supercolossal established a dedicated webpage to display submissions to the competition that didn’t make the second stage cut. As the website describes: “The competition opened up an opportunity for less established practices to compete for a large public project and introduce new blood (young practices, new practices, practices not normally engaged for university projects) into the arena of public architecture… That none of the practices here made the short-list is disappointing – there are some great ideas on display.”
DCM’s winning proposal, along with those of the Stage Two finalists and Stage One concept designs, will be published on the official competition website on 17 August 2009.

*Competition website:* [“www.UTSbroadway.com.au”:http://www.utsbroadway.com.au]
*Supercolossal’s Broadway competition dedicated webpage:* [“http://supercolossal.ch/utsbroadway.html”:http://supercolossal.ch/utsbroadway.html]

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