Tag Archives: Sydney

Future proofing the new UTS library

Sydney’s University of Technology is about to undergo an exciting transformation.

With Frank Gehry on board as the starchitect of the new Faculty of Business, the process is underway to design a new high tech library, among other facilities.

Speaking with one of the staff who is instrumental in the library design process, the conversation turned to the challenge of future proofing community facilities which are being developed today. How can we begin to conceptualise how technology will transform our buildings, our urban environments, even in ten years’ time?

Along with applying flexible, adaptable, universal design principles to the process, UTS has engaged Gen Y-ers to talk about their hopes and dreams for the campus of their future. The university is conducting qualitative research with early high school students, questioning them about the kind of buildings and facilities in which they would like to study when they are older.

This is a smart approach which demonstrates the university’s willingness to learn from younger generations and its commitment to its future student population.

Genuine, open-minded engagement is one of the cornerstones of true social sustainability.  It’s great when that is recognised by established institutions.

Floating pianos and other surreal cityscapes

Last Symphony by Eugene Soloviev

Cityscapes of floating pianos, surreal structures and entranced human beings…

This is the art of Eugene Soloviev, the Russian painter featured in Web Urbanist‘s latest newsletter.

The thought-provoking images may seem a world away. Yet they echo some of today’s edgier concept buildings - Birmingham’s ‘Bullring‘ and Frank Gehry‘s designs for the University of Technology’s Faculty of Business in Sydney.

Architecture can sometimes be the very stuff that dreams are made of…

Living Memory – public art as social history

Frasers Property’s landmark Central Park development is starting to take shape in Sydney’s inner suburb of Chippendale.  The scheme’s extensive public parkland is scheduled to open in mid-2011 and I’m particularly excited about Jean Nouvel’s stunning design for the central building, which is to rise from the rubble of the old brickworks, replete with “vertical hanging gardens.”

Frasers has recently announced its Artists In Residence (A.I.R.) public art project, which will be located at the site of the old brewery yard buildings and brick stack from March 2011.  Artists’ juicy brief for the A.I.R. initiative, from art advisor Michaelie Crawford, was to reflect “the history, fluids, processes and intoxications of the site’s brewing past.”

Living Memory by Andrew Brook

Artist Brook Andrew’s response, entitled Living Memory, will see large scale 3m high black and white portraits of some of the locality’s former residents adorn the old brewery building.

Brook’s evocation of Chippendale’s former resident labourers will offer a poignant reminder of the gathering pace of gentrification and social change in Sydney’s inner west.