UTS Great Hall

AR-MA's inaugural venture was a collaborative effort with DRAW (currently RAW and The Architecture Office) and Facade Innovations, aimed at the renovation of the University of Technology, Sydney's (UTS) brutalist masterpiece by Michael Dysart. The project introduced a new Great Hall, blending a contemporary aesthetic with the late-modern hallmark, thus echoing the forward-looking spirit of the university.

Our team's primary responsibility was the design and implementation of the project's signature element - a pulsating, triangulated mantle composed of over 1000 perforated aluminium facets. This intricate mantle, adorning the ceiling and walls, seamlessly integrated various services such as lighting, audio-visual, fire, and mechanical services, infusing energy into the campus's central ceremonial space.

With Facade Innovations, we embarked on design resolution, pre-manufacture, and assembly coordination for the architectural intent. We streamlined the architect's model of the triangulated mantle, integrating design and fabrication constraints into a parametric model treated as a comprehensive project database. This expeditious design phase had to operate within a strict six-week timeframe, dictated by material lead times.

Our team developed a construction system in collaboration with Facade Innovations to handle the mantle's intricate geometry and the logistical challenges of tracking numerous unique elements. To streamline this process, we incorporated installation and assembly instructions for sub-structure steel and facade aluminium panels on a plywood datum plane placed against the slab above, a method we've since employed repeatedly.Lastly, in conjunction with DRAW, we devised the perforation system for the aluminium composite panels. Working within acoustic and aesthetic constraints, we algorithmically placed 1.2 million perforations of varying sizes across the 1010 facade panels.

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Facade Innovations
  • DRAW (RAW Architects + John Demanincor)
Brett Boardman