Winning design for UTS Great Hall unveiled

Sep 13, 2010
  • Article by Online Editor

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has announced that Sydney architecture practice De Manincor Russell Architectural Workshop (DRAW) has won the design competition to transform the Great Hall, the university’s largest ceremonial venue.

DRAW’s design for the $6.6 million overhaul includes a metal panel surface called The Mantle, which will be grafted onto the existing structure of the hall. Designed using digital fabrication techniques, each panel will have its own unique shape and pattern, with skylights drawing natural light into the hall below.

This striking metallic skin will also incorporate cutting-edge audio-visual and lighting systems, allowing the space to be used for graduation ceremonies, lectures, formal dinners, examinations and events such as fashion shows.

DRAW principals John de Manincor and Adam Russell saw the competition as “ an opportunity to create a warm, lofty space, with qualities akin to those of a gothic cathedral. The Mantle also embodies UTS’s commitment to new design and fabrication technologies, as evidenced by their research in architecture, design, construction and engineering.”

DRAW’s proposal also features a radical transformation of the terrace space at the northern edge of the Great Hall. The Balcony Room will include full-height glass windows overlooking the Alumni Green, providing a dramatic new formal arrival space.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services) Anne Dwyer described the winning design as an “unforgettable space,” adding: “The Great Hall is already central to UTS life. With this project, we are really expanding [UTS’s] capacity to hold major events on campus.”

DRAW’s design proposal was chosen over designs submitted by three other shortlisted firms: Lacoste + Stevenson, HASSELL and Architectural Projects. The concept design has been refined in consultation with the university over the past few months.

DRAW is collaborating with Kann Finch Group on the project’s delivery. Steensen Varming are providing services and sustainability advice, Acoustic Logic are the acoustic consultants whilst Simpson Design Associates are the structural engineers. Construction is expected to start in January 2011, with a projected completion date of October 2011.

The redevelopment of the Great Hall forms part of the UTS Master Plan – a large-scale transformation of the UTS campus involving new projects, significant refurbishments and internal upgrades. Other projects within the Master Plan include the [“Broadway Building”:https://www.australiandesignreview.com/news/12975-DCM-s-digital-vision-wins-UTS-comp], the [“Podium Extension”:https://www.australiandesignreview.com/news/17581-Lacoste-Stevenson-wins-UTS-podium-competition] and the new [“Faculty of Business”:https://www.australiandesignreview.com/news/17316-Gehry-to-build-next-Sydney-icon] (the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building).


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