Gehry’s ‘squashed brown paper bag’ building wins more awards



Frank Gehry’s mind-bending love letter to bricks, the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), has added another award to its trophy cabinet, this time for engineering.

Engineering consultancy Arup won the Bradfield Award its role in bringing to life the Gehry-designed building at the Australia Engineering Excellence Awards in Sydney last week.

The building, which houses the UTS Business School, was named after Australian-Chinese businessman and philanthropist Dr Chau Chak Wing, who donated $20 million towards the project.

Judges praised its five-star green rating – it uses green concrete, high performance glazing, energy efficient lighting and services – and its undulating, free-form façade.

Engineers Australia Sydney General Manager Greg Ewing said the building showcased the best of multi-disciplinary engineering.

“This is a leading example of the strength of building engineering in Australia. Innovative applications have played a vital role in pushing the design concept to its structural limits and the result is this stunning, functional and environmentally sustainable building,” Mr Ewing said.

“This 12-storey landmark stood out for its distinctive undulating brick and glass exterior, and its equally irregular interior characterised by amorphous floor plates and sloping columns. Engineers Australia congratulates Arup for its deserving win and bold design.”

The building, which Gehry has described as a treehouse, won the commercial brick building award at the 2015 Think Brick awards.

The complicated construction involved five different custom-made types of brick, heavily corbelled – an architectural technique where individual bricks project as the façade curves, giving it a fluidity.

The AEEA Sydney 2016 winners are eligible to enter the national Australian Engineering Excellence Awards on 23 November 2016 in Brisbane.

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