sydney, australia (2003)
site area: 0.75ha
gross floor area: 7500m2
type: departmental library, offices,
student services + retail
competition proposal for the new student services building at the university of sydney creates a new cultural, social and student services hub for the campus.
traditionally disparate functions associated with student services are amalgamated within the one building, with strong public access through the introduction of
the one-stop-shop which handles all student enquiries. the building also incorporates a new centralised multifaculty science and technology library, containing
the previously separate collections of the sciences, architecture and engineering faculties.
the design is conceived of as a distinct series of horizontal plates corresponding to each of the two main activity zones: the lower one contains the library
and the upper plate contains the amalgamated office accommodation on two floors. situated between these two plates is an open 8m high covered, yet open,
plaza space which is intended as the external focus for student activities.
the plaza, the activity and event hub, is a gently terraced, paved landscape ringed by food and beverage and retail outlets. the upper level office building,
combining all the student services, provides weather protection to the plaza, while the large perforations in the office floor plate allow daylight down to the plaza level,
as well as illuminating and venting the inner areas of the office space.