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Timber Design Awards

UTS – Dr Chau Chak Wing Building

The University of Technology Sydney Business School takes a practical and integrative approach to business education.

The University of Technology Sydney Business School takes a practical and integrative approach to business education. The school aims to produce graduates capable of ‘integrative thinking’, who can combine traditional business skills with those from disciplines such as design and engineering. The Business School wanted the Dr Chau Chak Wing building to encourage a greater interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas between disciplines, researchers, industry and practitioners.

An integral part of Gehry Partners response to this objective and a key interior focus of the building are the two ‘log cabin’ style oval classrooms located on the lower two floors which allow students to interact with each other in a collaborative manner across the room and with their teacher at the centre or side, rather than having a front-facing focus.

The glue-laminated (glulam) radiata pine beams of the oval structure and adjoininfg staircase creates a character defining sculptural form within the building’s atrium void as well as creating striking internal space for lectures and interaction.

The three dimensional jenga style design of the oval classroom structure required an innovative approach to documentation & assembly. The structure was documented in 3D using Gehry Technologies Digital Project which allowed for the a fabrication to close tolerances & accurate positioning of the 150 large solid glue laminated timber beams, each weighing up to two tonnes and the longest measuring 12 metres. The oval structure also required considered engineering as the classrooms feature the world’s longest timber-concrete composite floor construction and the first in Australia.

Production of the individual Glulam blocks required exact precision and finishing achieved by the use of precise CNC profiling. Manufacture of the Glulam items for this Sydney project was carried out in NZ by TimberLab Solutions. The demanding construction of the complex layers of blocks to form this 3 storey timber oval classroom was undertaken by F & D Normoyle Engineering Ltd


University of Technology Sydney
 Project Manager
UTS Program Management Office
 Design Architect
Gehry Partners LLP
 Executive Architect
Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke
 Structural Engineer
 Main Contractor
Lend Lease Building Pty Ltd
 Timber Structures Sub Contractor
F & D Normoyle Engineering Pty LtdGluelam Timber Fabricator
Timberlab New Zealand /
Mcintosh Timber Laminates