Frank Gehry is the American architect behind the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building located in Australia. This is Frank’s first feat in Australia and was officially opened on Monday. The project is worth $138 million and is part of the business school at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). It will house more than 1,600 students and staff. Sir Peter Cosgrove, Australia’s Governor General, termed it as, “the most beautiful squashed brown paper bag I’ve ever seen.”
The project has been named after the Chinese-Australian billionaire who made donations worth AUD 25million for the project and whose son Eric is currently attending the university. It was first approved back in 2010 and the working kicked off in November 2012. The project is famous because of the east-facing façade that is undulating and sandstone coloured. The building has been created from a total of 320,000 bricks that are handmade. These bricks have been set on angles that were so tricky that Australia’s master bricklayers had to give up their life of retirement and get to work on this project.
According to Gehry, “The 19th century buildings in Sydney are still the most accessible. There is a humanity about them and the modern buildings can be cold and off-putting so the idea of using brick was a part of the (building) community here, there is a brick culture.” Sir Cosgrove agreed to this statement and added, “The traditional notions of hallowed sandstone quadrangles, spires and large lecture halls as symbols of tertiary education have been reinvented.”
The building’s interior takes a different approach from old buildings by incorporating oval classrooms and areas that have been designed to promote collaboration between students. Lecture area also is different from conventional buildings by virtue of avoiding the conventional hierarchical structure.
The building has been given a 5-Star Green Star rating with its aircon system that is capable of determining number of people in a room and then adjusting cooling accordingly. The building has received quite amazing reviews. Gehry said, “This building can and will be manipulated over time and will change as it’s being used. People will invent ways to use it. The tendency to build buildings where everything is fixed for a fixed program is an obsolete.”
Gehry originally scratched this amazing feat on a napkin with a pen while having lunch when he came up with the idea of a tree-house. Following the sketch, 150 paper and wooden models of different sizes were created while the final model was made by employing the use of an aviation software released by Dassault Systèmes.